Chapter 322 – Shun's Family
After eating their breakfast, the group returned to their rooms and prepared to leave. Naturally, Zhao Hai paid for their accommodations. This matter involved a nobleman's pride, he must pay for their rent, he had to, given his current identity. Not paying the rent is unbecoming for a young master such as him.
After boarding their carriages, they slowly left the town of Blanca. Shun sat by Shue outside Zhao Hai's carriage to drive.
Today, Shun dressed normally. He wore ordinary warrior's clothes, he looked very normal while sitting beside Shue.
Shue told him yesterday about Zhao Hai's ability as a mage. He told Shun to not dare betray Zhao Hai, or else face being turned into an undead.
Shun didn't want to be turned into an undead, thus he acted obediently and asked about Zhao Hai's dislikes. Because of this, he just wore ordinary clothes today.
One could say that Shun wasn't ugly, he had a childish face and adding on to his small stature, it made him look younger than his actual age.
Zhao Hai also asked about Shun's capabilities. Shun could use stealth techniques, wield poisonous hidden weapons, and disguise himself, he was someone born with the innate abilities of a successful assassin. Moreover, his fighting strength isn't weak. His strength was that of a 6th rank warrior, but during assassinations, he could deal with 7th ranks easily.
Regarding Shun's strength, Zhao Hai was very satisfied. Adding on to the fact that Shun made a blood oath to him, Zhao Hai believed that Shun wouldn't dare deceive him. However, Zhao Hai still decided to observe Shun for 1 or 2 days, after which he would bring Shun to the Space. If Shun wasn't loyal, Zhao Hao wouldn't be merciful and simply turn him into an undead. In any case, he could still keep his abilities when he becomes an undead.
Shun was very obedient, he also recognized his own situation, he was currently Zhao Hai's slave. He wouldn't be able to survive if Zhao Hai wanted him dead, so for his own good, he naturally would be loyal.
At noon, they had a simple lunch. But their lunch was much better the Ruyen's which were just ordinary dried food. Zhao Hai's group had mutton and mutton soup.
These mutton and mutton soup were the remainders from back in the prairie. When they set out for war, Wales killed all of their argali to be made into food. When they won the war, they obtained too many argali, naturally Wales wouldn't want to keep consuming mutton and mutton soup. The remainders were still kept with Zhao Hai, enough for them to eat for quite a long time.
Now that the continent was still in winter, the temperature was cold. Naturally, warm mutton and hot soup would taste better in such conditions.
In the evening, since they didn't manage to find any hotels, Zhao Hai and the others decided to rest inside a small village. This village's name was Cat Ear village. It had a few dozen families and the highest ranking official was the Village Chief. The village chief wasn't appointed by the empire. In the village, there was a very common surname. The village chief was that family's patriarch, holding the highest authority for the village.
However, in the eyes of a noble, a village chief isn't an official at all. The people in the village hadn't even seen a high official before, the highest authority they saw could only be the tax officer the came from the city to collect taxes, and that tax official isn't even an aristocrat. So when the village people saw Zhao Hai's group, especially their weapons, they were very terrified. And after hearing that Zhao Hai was a Viscount and Ruyen was a Duchy's young lady, every single person became scared as they knelt on the ground, kowtowing repeatedly.
They tried their best to cater to Zhao Hai because they were terrified. The Village Head even lent his house for Zhao Hai's stay.
Zhao Hai wasn't polite, he immediately occupied the house and asked the Village Head to have the women of the village to prepare some food. The Chief immediately complied, he hastily asked the women to prepare some food for Zhao Hai's group. Zhao Hai left the dishes to the women's hands.
However, he also had Meg supervise their job. These women can cook ordinary dishes, but they hadn't seen Zhao Hai's magic vegetables before, so they didn't do what to do with those. Fortunately, Meg was there and before long, the food was cooked quickly.
After dinner, Zhao Hai went to his courtyard to rest, Shue and the others followed. Since Zhao Hai's group wasn't large, a small courtyard was enough for all of them. Meanwhile, Ruyen's group was large, so they occupied three large courtyards by themselves, some even couldn't sleep indoors since each house can only hold about ten people.
After returning to his courtyard, Zhao Hai didn't immediately rest. He sat by the living room and drank some tea as he observed the ornaments in the room. Even if this house was considered as a high-grade house, the ornaments inside the living room were still ordinary, one could understand that the inhabitants weren't living better lives.
However, Zhao Hai didn't feel bad for the villagers. In his mind, they were also living good lives, they get to eat and wear warm clothes. One must know that back on Earth, in 21st century China, there were still places in China where people are living the same kind of life. So relatively speaking, the villagers had it good, considering how backward in technology the Ark Continent was.
At this time, Shun went towards Zhao Hai and kneeled, "Young master, this one had performed the blood oath with you, this one had also been very obedient. I request the young master to have this one visit his family for just a short while."
Zhao Hai was surprised, then he looked at Shun and asked, "You are married? How many members are there in your family?" In Zhao Hai's mind, people like Shun rarely married. Because if one day they fall while doing a task, their families would certainly suffer.
Shun nodded, "I am, this one had gotten married. There are five people in my family, besides this one, I have an old mother, a wife, and two children."
Zhao Hai said, "Where is your family right now?"
Shun immediately replied, "Tomorrow, we should pass by this one's home. The home isn't quite far from a small village. This one had bought a few mu of land in that village, doing only a few trades with the village so the village people would not know of this one's identity."
Zhao Hai nodded, "Very well. How about this? We'll pick your family up then bring them to my territory."
Shun stared for a moment, then he immediately responded, "Thank you, young master, from here, my house would take two hours of travel. But my family's village isn't along the main road, we still need to take a side route to reach my home."
Zhao Hai nodded, he watched the sky then turned to Shue, "Shue, go fetch my carriage and meet Shun's family." Shue nodded, then went and fetched Zhao Hai's carriage which made Shun surprised, he didn't know any other noble who would allow their servant's family to ride their carriage.
Looking at Shue and Shun leaving the village, Laura turned to Zhao Hai and said, "Brother Hai, are you not afraid of them escaping?"
Zhao Hai just smiled and said, "Aren't they under blood oath? Where can they escape to? Also, I placed the Ghost Staff inside the carriage, so if they run into trouble, we can immediately arrive at the carriage."
At this moment, a knock came from the door followed by Jill's voice, "Is mister Wales here? Her highness wanted to ask whether mister left." They also saw Zhao Hai's carriage leaving the village, so they came to ask.
Blockhead opened the door and asked Jill to enter. Then when Jill saw Zhao Hai sitting in the living room drinking tea, he relaxed. He went forward and immediately gave Zhao Hai a salute,"Mister Wales, the young lady saw your carriage leave and thought that maybe something happened, so he sent this one to inquire."
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "We made the young lady worry, there's nothing wrong. I just let my two servants do something, they'd be back in a while." Jill nodded, then asked to be excused.
Looking at Jill leaving, Laura couldn't help but pout, "Brother Hai, it seems that young lady Ruyen had become attached to you, do you have any idea what to do?"
Zhao Hai sighed, "What do do, she followed us very well. Anyway, when we reach Rosen Empire, she wouldn't be able to follow us anymore. Also, it wouldn't be good to Uncle Evan if we just left her."
Laura smiled, "I think that the young lady is heavily paying attention to you, looking at her actions these past few days, even her previous attitude has changed, it wouldn't be easy."
Zhao Hai sighed again, "How could she change, me and her are just casually travelling together. Forget it, let's talk about Shun, I didn't think that he would be married. Also, do you think that Shue is also married? His age isn't that small."
Hearing what Zhao Hai said, Laura just laughed. This time, it was Meg who talked, "Young Master, why are you worrying too much about these? You aren't even married."
Zhao Hai also laughed, "I have two fiancees, can't a full man know a hungry man's thoughts? I was just worried for Shue."
When Laura and Meg heard what Zhao Hai said, they couldn't help but look at Zhao Hai and snort. Zhao Hai laughed, the women also laughed, everybody became very jolly.
While the group was chatting, time unconsciously passed and the sky slowly turned dark. Although this village didn't have any magic lamps, they still had oil lamps. But Zhao Hai actually didn't light their lamp, and instead went inside the Space, he looked at the screen to observe Shue and Shun.
Shue and Shun were chatting while travelling. Shue asked about Shun's family, and Shun asked Shue about Zhao Hai. Shue mouth was very solid, not revealing any unnecessary information. He just repeatedly advised Shun to never betray Zhao Hai.
Zhao Hai was observing the two while they were going along the road. When they left Cat Ears village, they travelled for a while before they went down a fork in the road. After going along for a while, they saw village lights in the distance.
Seeing the village, Shun couldn't help but reveal a gentle gaze. He turned to Shue and said, "Brother Shue, this is my village, my father was a doomed soldier before. But he was injured and decided to stay here, I got my skills from him. My mother was a medicine master in the village, but didn't formally study potion making. She only used the herbs in the mountains to cure the people's illnesses. She also knew how to make poisons, there were many poisonous plants in the mountains, and their toxicity was very strong, I learned by poison making from her. Later on, my father died because of his old injuries, so I went to the City to find some jobs. After a few years of doing missions, I managed to get my hands on some money and bought a few mu of land. Then I had a wife and two children. Because of them, I opted to do less dangerous missions if possible, nor could I go too far from the village. Most of the time, I do some farm work in the village, I think this life is good."
Looking at Shun's expression, Shue smiled, "If you really think so, then even more reason for you to not betray the young master. As long as you stay in the Young Master's good side, you would find out later that it was the best decision of your life."
Shun forced a smile, "Perhaps, but I just don't want my children to be slaves in their lifetime. But I already made a blood oath with master, so I have to follow him now. Without my support, my family couldn't survive. I can only depend on the young master to find them somewhere to settle in. I just don't know where the young master would take them."
Shue looked at Shun and said, "Don't worry, I assure you they would be sent to the best place in the world. For commoners like us, it would be heaven." Honestly, Shue couldn't think of any other place better than Iron Mountain Fort. There, they all work together to improve their lives and support their children. They would have food to eat everyday, and didn't need to worry about their food in the future. If such a thing isn't heaven for an ordinary commoner, then what is?
Shun sighed, he didn't speak, his mood was very complicated right now. He is very aware that even though he had bought some land, it was just enough to live by. If he wanted his family to live better, the family could only rely on him to work much harder. But now he became Zhao Hai's subordinate, and if he left, the family would lose their main source of income. So he can only force himself to ask Zhao Hai for some time to settle his family. But he didn't think that Zhao Hai would volunteer to take the family to his territory. It was a matter of worry and joy for Shun, since his family would have some sort of security.
What worried him was what would happen to his family members when they reach Zhao Hai's territory. If they become slaves and Shun somehow falls, they may starve to death, this bothered him very much.
After talking with each other, the two finally entered the village. It was a small village about the same size as the Cat Ears village. Behind the village was a mountain, which seemed to be the mountain that Shun talked about. As soon as they entered the village, a low level magic beast which looked like a dog back on earth barked at them, Even though the magic beast looked like a dog, its combat capability was miles ahead of Earth's dog, it was a magic beast after all.
Shun pointed at a tree inside a courtyard and said, "There is my home."