Chapter 280 – Surveillance
Zhao Hai has had many interactions with small Beastmen tribes, but for a big tribe like West Wonder King’s, it’ll be his first.
Back when he met the small tribes, they would be very enthusiastic upon meeting a Human merchant, take Spear’s Sheep Hammer tribe for example, due to Zhao Hai willing to sell them grain for a small price, they’d gone and happily offered their friendship flag to him.
But in West Wonder King’s camp, that scene is non-existent, upon seeing Zhao Hai arrive they did not even show an expression of surprise. Even the children inside the tribe did not come over and surround him. Zhao Hai could instead see in the eyes of some of these people a glint of contempt.
Zhao Hai stared blankly for a moment before realizing that the reason these Beastmen looked down on them is because their caravan’s size and cargo is too small, about 200,000 jin, at most, and 200,000 jin when regards to a big tribe such as this, is really too low as supply.
Zhao Hai didn’t mind it, escorted by some beastmen cavalry, he was led towards a corner of the camp where surprisingly a tent was located, moreover the surrounding area seem to be devoid of other beastmen.
The leader of the beastmen cavalry, riding a cow, arrived before Zhao Hai and said with a strong tone, “Human friend, you can temporarily stay here, this tent is specially made for human visitors to stay in, you can move in immediately, you can also inquire other people nearby should you need anything, naturally you need to offer something in exchange.”
“Well thank you so much brave warrior, may I ask for your name?”, Zhao Hai felt somewhat flattered because he never expected that West Wonder King’ camp would provide accommodations.
The cow riding beastman grinned and said, “My name is Beta, you can call me Beta”.
Zhao Hai smiles and said hastily “Good! Brother Beta, I’ve prepare a small gift, please accept, if you have time, please help me send one to Sir West Wonder King, I have a big business to discuss with him.” As he said that he waved hand, Laura immediately took a bottle of alcohol, naturally this isn’t Milk Wine, but a genuine Human Fruit Wine.
Beta was stunned for a moment before he laughed and took the wine from Zhao Hai’s hand. “You are an interesting person, very interesting indeed! Hahaha, be at ease, I’ll tell the elders about your request.”
Patting the cow’s belly, he moo’ed towards the other Fighting Bull clansmen, then began to turn away, the team of beastmen cavalry also followed him to leave.
Zhao Hai shows a faint smile as he turned to Laura and said “A big tribe is different it seems, they unexpectedly provided a place for living. Go take a look, see if the tent has anything in it.” Laura complied with a smile and turned around towards the tent, Zhao Hai commanded his Undead to go tie up the grain carriages.
After being settled, Zhao Hai pulled out some grain and went to trade some Milk Wine and mutton to the nearby bull-headed tribesmen.
After quite some time Zhao Hai felt the West Wonder King’s tribe’s differences with the small tribes, West Wonder King’s tribe is more utilitarian.
Perhaps this is an inevitable phenomenon of societal development. The larger the population, the more utilitarian the people are, while the smaller the population, the more they stick to morals.
Time passed at their settlement, Zhao Hai was just quietly waiting, he did not go around too much and he also did not interact much with the other beastmen. His surroundings appears very peaceful without much disturbance.
However inside the tent, Zhao Hai has opened his space’s radar, he wants to look at the surrounding situation and was quick to notice some peculiarities. The surrounding bull-headed beastman warriors appear a bit too many, sometimes there would be patrols around the camp, eyeing the tent from time to time.
As Zhao Hai sees this situation, he couldn’t help but look blankly, he turned to Laura and asked, “Did we have any flaws in our actions? Why would they send some people to spy on us?”
Laura frowns and shakes her head, “I don’t know, we haven’t done anything out of the ordinary.”
Meg looked at the screen and said,” Young Master, maybe they think that we are spies sent by the Patriarch of Fighting Bull tribe? The Fighting Bull tribe has defeated the Herculean tribe, but there was a Human expert that helped out. Then all of a sudden we appear here, wouldn’t they suspect us?”
Zhao Hai stopped for a moment, then he nodded and said, “It is possible, they have a grudge against the Fighting Bull chieftain before, now the Fighting Bull’s power has become strong, and they have shown their their relations with humans, then suddenly we come, it is very possible that they would suspect us.”
Laura affirms and says “It seems that our decision to stay honest here is correct, otherwise they would be onto us “
Zhao Hai nods. “In this case, let’s just stay here honestly, Cai’er”. Zhao Hai called, Cai’er immediately appeared on his shoulder.
Zhao Hai turns his head to Cai’er. “Cai’er, can you record everything here so that we could watch it afterward?”. Zhao Hai remembers that there was a video recording function, he had not used it before because he didn’t have any use for it.
Cai’er nodded and said, “Can record, and if there is no command to retain it, seven days later, it will be deleted.”
Zhao Hai nodded and said, “Good, starting today, record all that happens in West Wonder King’s tribe, in the evening we’ll be watching it.”
Cai’er complied, then return to the space, at this time, there is suddenly someone speaking outside, “Human friend, are you well?”
Zhao Hai was surprised, but after he heard that the voice was Beta’s he immediately replied, “Brother Beta, I am well, come inside.”
Beta walked in, saying that the tent is really nice, that the things inside must’ve been brought in by Zhao Hai, in fact Zhao Hai can just use the things provided but Laura objected, she fears that too many people have used the furniture, so they just used the furniture that they brought with them.
Inside, Zhao Hai is sitting down while drinking milk tea, this milk tea is also traded from other beastmen nearby. When he saw Beta come in, Zhao Hai beckoned and said, “Brother Beta, come and drink a cup of tea”. After which he poured Beta a cup of tea.
Beta smiled, he held the cup and downed it in one go, then he says to Zhao Hai, “Human friend, the elders in charge of outsiders wants to see you, come with me.”
Zhao Hai nodded and stood up, as he walked outside he tells Laura, “Just stay in the tent, do not wander around.” Laura complied, she escorted Zhao Hai up until the entrance of the tent.
After walking a few meters, Beta turned his head and asked Zhao Hai, “Human friend, why can I see that you’re not like any other human merchant? Other human merchants would move around to other places to get business.”
Zhao Hai gave a forced smile and said, “Brother, if I depend on that kind of business, how much money can I make? How many things can I sell? Too little, my goal now is to supply grain to your tribe, that would give me big profits, those small profits don’t have any value to me.”
Beta looked surprised at Zhao Hai’s response, “It seems that you really didn’t lie to me, do you really have large supplies of grain? For how much would you sell it?”
Zhao Hai smiled and said, “A lot of grain, and the price I give is definitely the lowest in the entire priarie.”
Beta looked at Zhao Hai, he couldn’t make out if what Zhao Hai said is true, at this time they have arrived outside a big tent, this tent is bigger than most tents. Additionally, erected outside this tent is a flag, Zhao Hai didn’t know what this flag meant but he could understand that this tent isn’t so simple.
Outside the tent, there are two Fighting Bull beastman guards standing straight, each of them holding a giant mace in their hands making them look very imposing.
Beta walked towards the entrance and nodded towards the guards, he then led Zhao Hai inside. Zhao Hai felt the surroundings dim as he went inside, he sized up the tent, the inside is very big, about 40 square meters, this is not small when describing a tent.
The decoration inside the tent is very peculiar, things that most beastmen use, this tent seems to lack, instead there are books upon books stacked inside, nothing else.
On the floor there is just a plain-colored carpet, actually looking very ordinary, in the middle of the tent is a fire pit with which a steaming copper pot is hanging above. Also inside, there is a small table where sitting behind it is a old looking Fighting Bull tribesman.
Some of the hair on this Fighting Bull tribesman’s head have turned white and his face has grown wrinkles, making him look like an old senile man. But his eyes were not clouded at all, on the other hand his eyes were very clear and full of wisdom.
Beta stepped forward and gave a bow, “Beta has seen the elder.”
The old Fighting Bull beastman nodded, “Is this the merchant you were talking about?”
Beta nodded hastily, Zhao Hai stepped forward and in manner of courtesy said, “Zhao Hai has seen the elder, I thank the elder for meeting me.”
The elder nodded, he waved, Beta bowed towards the elder and promptly left the tent, Zhao Hai kept silent, he just kept standing there.
The old man looked at Zhao Hai and said, “Human friend, please sit down.” After Zhao Hai expressed his gratitude, he sat at the right side of the elder.
The eyes of the elder showed a small flash of approval, then he went on,”Human friend, I heard from Beta that you have a lot of food that can be traded with us?”
Zhao Hai nodded, “Yes respected elder, I have plenty of grain, to be honest I am not a pure merchant, I have my own territory and my territory’s product is Bamboo grain, I don’t want to sell it cheap to other merchants so I decided to sell them myself.”
The elder nodded, “How much grain do you have?”
Zhao Hai said with a serious voice, “30 million jin”. He didn’t declare too much, afraid that the elder would hold suspicion.
While in his eyes it is still less, the elder asked, “The price?”
Zhao Hai calmly replied, “every 2000 jin of grain, i’ll trade for one mountain sheep(Argali).”
The elder’s expression dropped, he looked at Zhao Hai surprised, “You say 2000 jin of grain for one Argali? Are you sure you’re telling the truth?”
Zhao Hai nodded, “Respected elder, I will not joke on this matter, what is said is true, 2000 jin for one Argali.”
The elder looked at Zhao Hai, “How is the quality of your grain? If the quality is not bad, when can it arrive so that we can immediately trade for Argali?”
Zhao Hai replied, “The quality of the grain is not a problem, I brought some samples, I’ll be honest with elder, these grains that I brought are the most inferior among their batch. But the grain that I’ll send later is absolutely first grade.”
The elder nodded, at this point Beta’s voice rang from outside the tent “Beta reports to the elder, the grains have been checked, the quality is very good.”
The elder smiled and turned his head towards Zhao Hai, “Human friend, you really did not lie? You really have more grain of such quality?”
Zhao Hai shook his head, “No elder, these grain that I have brought are the worst among the grains I have, the incoming grains would be of better quality.”
The elder looks at Zhao Hai silently for a while while Zhao Hai is staring at the elder as well. After some time, the elder nodded, “Human friend, we’ll go with this transaction, have your people transport the grain. But remember, you only have a half months to transport, bring all you can in those half months because after which winter will come and the snow will seal the road, when that happens no matter how much you want to deliver, it would be impossible.”
Zhao Hai faintly smiles and says, “Elder be relieved, it wouldn’t take too long, we’ll also be able to deliver for a little less than a month, then please allow me to excuse myself , elder, I still have some things to prepare.”
The elder gave a nod, Zhao Hai slowly exits the tent to make his preparations. At this point Beta went inside the tent, “Elder, they’re very clean, they almost didn’t leave their tent, I can’t see any issue with them.”
The elder agreed, “I also think that this young man is good, monitor them more for a few days, if they have the same behavior then we could trust them. If they do something out of the norm, like contacting other tribe members, find out what they said, if it’s just ordinary conversation then we don’t need to spy on them.”
Beta looked puzzled at the old elder, “Elder, they already acted positively, why need to monitor them further? And you also said to monitor them when they talk with tribe members, isn’t that just normal behavior?”
Chapter 281 – Finding Clues
The elder looked at Beta and said, “Beta, you should know about our present situation. Nowadays is a very tense period, and this human merchant appearing is very strange. They have just arrived, so they would obviously act normal, but a merchant not reaching out to others for a few days? Impossible, therefore in these couple of days them contacting other people is normal, but if they are still acting honestly in their tent, then there is definitely something fishy, we should stay alert, do as I say. In addition, do not put all our trade resources on them, do not break relations with other merchants, we don’t dislike too much grain.”
Understanding the meaning of the elder’s words, Beta nodded, “Yes elder, I will immediately go handle it.” The elder nodded and turned around.
The elder looked at the waving curtain and murmured, “Prince, your choice in this matter is really wrong, do you really think that the Herculean Bull tribe would be defeated easily? And that the Fighting Bull tribe invited the Humans for help, oh!”
The tent immediately fell into silence as the elder’s mood became heavy. Recently due to the defeat of the Herculean Bull tribe, West Wonder King began to think of ways in order to please the Fighting Bull tribe. The first thing he did is rounding up their tribes’ two Herculean Bull princesses who he married and sent them out to be slaves so that they’d completely lose their dignity.
Regarding this practice of the West Wonder King, the elder is very much in disagreement, Herculean Bull tribe was a great help to the West Wonder King, without Herculean Bull tribe there would be no West Wonder King today, although the Herculean Bull tribe helped the West Wonder King so that they could keep the Fighting Bull tribe in check, in the end they still helped out West Wonder King. And the West Wonder King’s current practice isn’t something that a proper beastman would do, but would instead be like what some ungrateful humans would do, the kind of humans that are despicable.
In fact, many people in the tribe are in opposition with the West Wonder King regarding this, but in the eyes of West Wonder King, Herculean Bull tribe is done. Of their two supreme elders, one is dead while the other is heavily injured, what other hopes do they have? Additionally, they lost their territory as well as all their properties, at this point, they can only become a vassal tribe to the Mastiffs. Forget about getting vengeance, they couldn't even return to the bull-headed tribe’s territory, so West Wonder King decisively demoted the two princesses to slaves.
Zhao Hai did not know about any of these, as he returned to the camp he immediately made the undead unload the grains from the carriage and had them drive the carriage away. Zhao Hai also had them carry the Ghost Staff.
After completing all of these, Zhao Hai returned to the tent, Laura followed Zhao Hai from the side. Inside the tent Laura immediately asks, "Elder Brother Hai, do you really want to sell the grain to West Wonder King?"
Zhao Hai nodded and said, “Yes, do not forget, currently we are merchants, we couldn't afford to show any flaws, so why shouldn't we sell? Right, starting from tomorrow do not stay inside the tent, go around the area and find if they have any special magic beasts, talk to them to see whether we could buy it."
Laura nodded, then frowned and said, "Then should we not ask for news about the second and third princesses?"
Zhao Hai shook his head and said, "We do not need to inquire about it right now, we are acting as merchants, we're not supposed to care about these matters as long as there is profit to be had. For now, pay special attention to special plants and magic beasts, these are also integral to our trip."
Laura smiled, "Don't worry, but they are still monitoring us, is it appropriate for us to walk around?"
Zhao Hai faintly smiles, "Why would it be inappropriate? We are human merchants, don't forget about that. And human merchants that are unwilling to make contact with beastmen? Now that is unusual."
Laura also understood, so she did not say anything, she looked at outside the tent and quietly said, "I don't know how the 2nd and the 3rd princesses are faring right now, their situation must not be good nowadays, I just hope that the West Wonder King is a grateful person, or else their days would be much harder."
As it is getting late, Zhao Hai returned to his Space, he also needs to pay attention to the undead carrying the goods. As soon as the undead leave the Tauren tribe's area, they are to be filled with food so that they could come back immediately. His caravan currently has 100 large carts each able to carry 5,000 jin of grain, these 100 carts can altogether transport about 500,000 jin. Additionally, Zhao Hai still has additional 1000 or more carts available that could transport 2,000 jin each which adds more than 2 million jin of grain to the total amount. In this case, their supply would be very close to 3 million jin, a number couldn't be considered small.
But from West Wonder King's camp, if you want to leave the Bull-headed beastmen’s area, the most direct way was to head towards the Iron Fort. If you head straight there it would take about six days before you can leave the Bull-headed beastmen’s domain. But Zhao Hai can reduce this travel time to three days, so it takes about six days to travel back and forth, and each trip can carry almost 3 million jin each time.
A trip of 3 million jin each, in one month they could transport 15 million jin, although not at the level of 30 million, for Zhao Hai this income is already a lot. Additionally, he does not really want 30 million jin of grain to be sold to West Wonder King, 15 million is good enough.
At night, Zhao Hai entered the space to rest, but after they entered the space, they didn't immediately went to sleep, but instead they let Cai'er bring out the recordings acquired during the day.
The recorded events isn't just around the tent they were living in, as Beta led Zhao Hai to the tent, the camera also followed and recorded everything 2 kilometers around.
For Zhao Hai this video function seems very normal, but for Laura they look really amazing. They saw everything Zhao Hai went through throughout the day, event though she knew that these were obviously things that happened during the day, she still felt very excited and tensed.
Looking at her appearance Zhao Hai couldn't help but smile, he didn't say anything. This made Zhao Hai remember the first time he watched television and also similar to when he first started playing with a computer.
Zhao Hai has been observing the expressions of all the people he passed by along his way. There is nothing special about this route. Afterall, he did not go far from the camp, he's just in the immediate vicinity.
Zhao Hai listens to Beta calling out to the foreign affairs elder, the elder seems to be the elder who manages the external affairs in West Wonder King's camp.
There is nothing strange about the elder setting up the visitor's tent here. The outsiders who arrive to visit naturally won't be immediately invited to the center of the camp. Just like Zhao Hai's caravan, they would be place on the outskirts of the camp. So the elder also erected his tent at the periphery of the camp to easily facilitate contact with the visitors. Another reason is for possible scouts to have no chance of getting inside the camp.
Zhao Hai attentively observed the elder because he found that the elder is very uncommon, his beastman body seem to express wisdom, this feeling made Zhao Hai very vigilant.
Zhao Hai has been paying attention to the tent, right now, he and Beta just came out. At this time, the tent is still in the vicinity of the record range, Zhao hai immediately said to Cai'er, "Cai'er can you transfer the camera view to inside the tent?"
Cai'er nodded: "Yes". As she said it, the video suddenly turned, Beta and the elder appeared on screen, the words exchanged between the two entered Zhao Hai's ears.
Upon hearing the elder's words, Zhao Hai's face suddenly changed, he turned to Laura, "It seems that this West Wonder King is trying to throw their lot with the Fighting Bull tribe, Laura, in the next few days, you must pay more attention to any information regarding the 2nd and 3rd princess. If West Wonder King wants to rely on the Fighting Bull tribe, he would certainly won't be polite towards the 2nd and 3rd princesses, remember, only listen do not directly inquire."
Laura has now been accustomed to the magic of the monitor, when she heard Zhao Hai's command she understood immediately, then she replied with a straight face, "I did not think that West Wonder King is unexpectedly that type of person."
Zhao Hai forced a smile and said,"If he is not that kind of person, then he wouldn't have betrayed the Fighting Bull tribe chieftain, this situation is normal, I have already thought about this scenario, but I did not think that he'll really disregard his morals."
Laura sighs, "As a result, Big Brother Wales has lost a lot of strength, this has become a great blow on his part."
Zhao Hai replied with a cold expression, "We'll have our revenge soon, for now we should collect more information about the Fighting Bull tribe's situation, I think there are a lot of people in this battalion that will talk about the bull-headed race’s matters, we must pay attention and listen to the 2nd and 3rd princesses' matters, we should see if they are still alive or dead. If they are living, look at their current situation, if they're not treated well, we'll find a way to rescue them and then find Brother Wales, we still have a month of time in any case."
Laura nods, "This seems to be the only way, trying to count on West Wonder King isn't possible in our situation anymore, let's just leave it to Brother Wales to find another solution, right Hai-ge, do you want to tell Brother Wales about the current situation?"
Zhao Hai nodded, "We should tell him, otherwise Brother Wales would still be hoping there would be no trouble here, we should find a chance to inform Brother Wales one of these days whenever possible."