Chapter 279: West Wonder King's camp
Beastmen weren't the only ones who didn't utilize distilling methods in their alcohol; humans didn't use them either. This puzzled Zhao Hai greatly. Another thing was that the popular alcohols here on Ark Continent were typically fruit wines for humans, while it was milk wine for the beastmen. There were basically none that had been made using grains or vegetables. This also puzzled Zhao Hai.
Beastmen drank a lot of alcohol due to the environment they lived in. It was very cold here during the winter, and the other three seasons weren't much better. They had to eat and sleep in the open when they herded animals, and given the unpredictable weather, a good sack of wine could sometimes be a lifesaver.
Because of that, the beastmen weren't just alcoholic, they were inclined towards strong liquor. But right now, there wasn't any strong liquor produced on Ark Continent, but they could make milk wine themselves, which meant that they didn't have to go and buy liquor. That was why milk wine was still the staple on the plains.
Back on Earth, Zhao Hai would drink sometimes, but he mostly drank beer or white wine. He rarely partook in fruit wines, so he didn't know how to judge them. But if he had to put it into words, white wine would be fine. It was strong in alcohol content, and if produced properly, he wouldn't get a hangover the day after drinking.
But here in Ark Continent, he could only have a few fruit wines, and undistilled at that. Honestly speaking, they were really not that great.
That was why Zhao Hai had wanted to start a brewery early on, but he hadn't known how, and the same applied to Greene and others. Although Laura's subordinates were very capable, they didn't know how to brew liquor as well. If they just followed the recipe books, nothing of good quality would be produced anyways. So Zhao Hai had never gotten started with the whole project.
But now they had Alaes' group. Although they didn't know how to make grain wines, it was enough to just make milk wines. Don't forget, right now in Zhao Hai's ranch, he could purchase milk cows, and their milk production was surprisingly high.
So now Zhao Hai wanted to experiment and see if he could make some grain wines. The food production of his farm in the Space was ever increasing. If he unloaded them all onto the food market of the beastmen, it would have too much of an impact. It would most definitely attract too much attention, and then every country on the mainland would investigate the cause. The result of that investigation would lead to a certain individual that didn't exist, which would be a major problem. So he wanted to transform his stockpiles into something else he could sell, and liquor was undoubtedly the optimal choice.
Regardless of whether it was rice or corn, they were both excellent materials for fermentation. If they could manage to ferment white wine and process it through distillation, the resulting white wine would be around 40% proof. Even with only this much alcohol content, it would be considered fairly strong here in Ark. The beastmen would love it for sure.
So liquor-making has been added to the schedule. But there were still many difficulties to consider before starting. So Zhao Hai wanted to try making milk wines first, and experiment based on how they did.
Right now, Zhao Hai had 200 milk cows and 1000 sheep. This way, whether he wanted milk or wool, there would be plenty. Now he could actually go ahead with producing dairy-related products and wool processing, so he wouldn't have to only sell rabbit meat for income like before.
However, all of this would take a long time to prepare, and Zhao Hai was not in a hurry. He had all the time in the world now; they could take it slow.
Zhao hai travelled in 4 days what would take 10 for others. That was because his carriages were pulled by the undead, which didn't feel fatigue. So, he could just let them keep marching.
The carts that the beastmen had were all unsuited to be pulled by the scale-horned horses or windchaser horses. As a result, Zhao Hai turned all the cart-pulling raging bulls into undead with a merciless heart. And now all the raging bulls could work all day and night.
In all honestly, Zhao Hai's heart still ached after turning all those raging bulls into undead. Even if he had simply sold those bulls on the market, they would have fetched a pretty penny. Sadly, he did not have the connections to do so.
Recently, Zhao Hai would let his blood hawks roam to see if there were any small tribes around. If there were any, they would try to go around and avoid them, which would save them some travel time.
What Wales needed the most right now was information regarding West Wonder King, so Zhao Hai went around the smaller tribes because he didn't want to waste too much time with them.
The way Zhao Hai was moving right now might probably make West Wonder King suspicious. He was ignoring all the different territories, and heading straight for West Wonder King's base. Normally, considering how much food Zhao Hai could hold on his carriages, he would have had to sell to most, if not all, of the smaller tribes he encountered on the way to West Wonder King's base. It would be impossible to haul all of it safely to his base. Bigger tribes like the West Wonder King's had their own connections with a steady food supplier if they ever wanted to buy food. When those food merchants wanted to transport the food they bought, they would have their tribes' battle flags planted on their carriages, thus signaling who the transports were specifically for, and in turn ensure their safety.
People like Zhao Hai who did not have the support of bigger tribes would usually sell their food to smaller tribes or have them robbed; they rarely reached the bigger tribes.
On the prairie, every big tribal camp was like an open market. There was a day each month where the human merchants came and did business with smaller tribes in the larger tribes' camp. Usually, the smaller tribes had to be lucky if they wanted to buy something from these markets, because they would have to meet a willing human merchant. If they were unlucky, they would have to wait until market day and go to the bigger tribes' base to buy what they needed.
Among all the beastmen tribes, West Wonder King's base was not actually considered a big base. However, they were considered at least a medium-sized one, so they were able to host open markets, but only for a day every two months.
The result was that the smaller tribes around West Wonder King's camp found it even more difficult to get what they needed. It was also because of that that their desire to buy was very strong. Hence it was generally impossible for a passing convoy like Zhao Hai's group who was not specifically delivering to a bigger tribe to travel safely. Their goods usually ended up being bought off or robbed.
Good thing Zhao Hai had already prepared an excuse. He could say that he thought there was a bigger tribe around here, so that's why he hadn't sold his food, and he was bringing a sample for West Wonder King.
After four days of restless marching, Zhao Hai had almost reached West Wonder King's camp. He and others had also returned to the prairie from Iron Mountain Castle.
Once on the prairie, Zhao Hai immediately opened Laura's carriage door. He looked outside and smiled. "Doesn't it feel like we haven't been back in a long time? It suddenly feels like the prairie looks even more beautiful than before."
Laura and the others all laughed at that. These days, they had all been busy building the production facilities at Iron Mountain Castle. Now that the temperature around the Black Wastelands had dropped, they had stopped farming and switched their focus towards building those facilities.
But they still don't have enough people to build all the production facilities. At first, Zhao Hai had really wanted to start a facility for making battle rations. But then he considered that even if he had the facilities, there was no market for battle rations among either the beastmen or the humans. The only thing they could do right now was make wool products. That way they didn't have to kill the goats.
But now they had an even better product: milk wine. Although the beastmen themselves also produced milk wines, they only made the usual goat milk wine. It was incomparably inferior to the ones that Zhao Hai was now making from cow milk. The main difference was that his milk wine had been distilled, which would most definitely make it taste better than the ones the beastmen made.
Of course, in Zhao Hai's eyes, milk wines were ultimately a lower-tier product. But because beastmen liked to drink good milk wine, he could use it to trade for better goods.
The convoy was quickly entering the area around West Wonder King's camp. They could, in fact, already see it in the distance. The area it covered was very large. All they could see on the horizon were the tops of white-domed tents. The middle of the camp seemed the busiest; according to Zhao Hai's estimations there had to be more than a hundred thousand people here.
Just then, with a rumbling of hooves, a group of riders came rushing out of the base and approached Zhao Hai's convoy. Perhaps it was because they noticed the two sets of friendship war flags, but the riders slowed down and scrutinized their convoy carefully.
Zhao Hai hurried out of the carriage and bowed respectfully to one of the riders. "Hello, respected warrior. We are merchants from the humans. Is this where West Wonder King's base is located?"
After the warrior from the Fighting Bull tribe noticed Zhao Hai's kind behaviour, he hurriedly replied, "Hello, human friend. This is indeed West Wonder King's camp. What business do you have here?"
Zhao Hai quickly replied, "Respected warrior, I'm a merchant. My business here is of course to establish trade with West Wonder King, and sizable trade at that too."
The rider didn't think too much of it; there would often be human merchants that came to make deals in their base. He looked at Zhao Hai's convoy again, then said, "Human friend, we welcome your trade, but you don't seem to be carrying much?"
Zhao Hai smiled, "Relax, respected warrior. These are just samples. If you agree to trade, the food will come nonstop."
The rider nodded. "Alright then, human friend, please follow me." He then lead Zhao Hai further into the camp.
To avoid suspicions, Zhao Hai had already put all the undead large-horned raging bulls away. There were no undead creatures in his convoy right now; they looked just like your average group of human merchants.
Zhao Hai followed the rider into the camp, and immediately discovered that this place was not the same as the smaller tribes. It was more than a matter of size; in a bigger tribe, of course the camps are bigger; the difference Zhao Hai saw was in the attitudes of the people here.