Chapter 343 – Mercenaries
Ruyen became even more alienated to Zhao Hai these past days, but she was actually happy with it. She didn't want to associate with ZHao Hai, he was too scary
At this time, Zhao Hai was somewhat surprised these past few days. It had been seven days since they were attacked outside Hundred Battles Fortress. But they didn't encounter any other ones in the seven days that had passed, this was beyond his expectation.
Naturally, he didn't know that Hundred Battles Fortress' garrison lord's body had already gone cold. This absence has created a power vacuum inside Hundred Battles Fortress that a lot of people inside Rosen Empire wanted to fill. Because of this, there simply wasn't any time to consider Zhao Hai.
The position of Hundred Battles Fortress' garrison lord actually didn't have that huge of an authority inside the fortress. Although there were civilians living there, the majority of its inhabitants were still the garrison troops. And only during wartime did the garrison lord have jurisdiction over these soldiers.
However, Hundred Battles Fortress was placed in a very lucrative position. This was one of Rosen Empire's entrances, so everyday tons of merchants would pass through here. The tariffs as well as the loot they receive from the bandits would add up to be a lot of money. Because of this, the position of garrison lord would be changed every five years. But, even with this time restriction, there were still a lot of nobles who were crazily trying to take on the position.
But this situation wouldn't likely to last long because Hundred Battles Fortress was after all the empire's shield. So the position of garrison lord had already been decided during these few days.
This unusual situation was caused by the garrison lord's suicide. Otherwise, the position wouldn't be vacant for such a long time.
Now that the matter has passed, the implicated Grand Duke Lionheart naturally hated Zhao Hai. Although the garrison lord wasn't his direct subordinate, they two of them had a good relationship. It was an unexpected event that Zhao Hai managed to compel the garrison lord to kill himself. The Grand Duke not only failed to solve his problem, he also suffered no small amount of loss, eventually benefitting Shelley Family. At this moment, how could Lionheart resign? So he naturally had to think up ways to deal with Zhao Hai.
Although Zhao Hai didn't know that Grand Duke Lionheart had pulled back in order to prepare, he didn't reduce his vigilance. He was very clear that offending the Grand Duke inside Rosen Empire was just like offending Southern King inside Aksu Empire.
The reason they had such slow journey these past few days was because Zhao Hai needed to inquire about Lionheart's affairs. Grand Duke Lionheart really did have a large power and influence inside Rosen Empire.
He found out that although Lionheart was titled a Grand Duke, he wasn't always inside his duchy but instead handled matters inside Carson City. This was because he was a trusted subordinate of the current monarch, handling the job of the empire's Head Lord of the Treasury. It was a position carrying a large weight, this was also the reason why he had the gall to face against Shelley Family.
After knowing these information, Zhao Hai became more careful, he knew that because he managed to annoy such a character, his future days wouldn't be any peaceful.
At the eight day, they arrived at a small city called Wright. These days, Zhao Hai avoided Large Cities as much as possible. He knew that the Grand Duke would surely have some people stationed there. If there was danger inside large cities, he might as well stay in small ones. So if there were trouble, there wouldn't be too much disturbance
Such a small city naturally didn't have a Shelley Hotel. So Zhao Hai and the others went to a hotel in the city named Shri Hotel.
The hotel could only be considered as a medium grade hotel. Although not the largest, its services were quite good, and the place was fairly clean. So Zhao Hai chose this place to stay for the night.
Such hotel was considered low-class in Laura's eyes. Even though Zhao Hai's group rented the best rooms, they weren't comparable to normal rooms at Shelley Hotel. But the place was clean and the facilities inside were also quite adequate.
However, such details weren't important to Zhao Hai. They could just enter the Space and rest there for the night. They didn't need to care about the rooms they stayed in.
Although Ruyen thought that the rooms were very bad, she didn't dare say anything. After guessing Zhao Hai's identity, Ruyen's plots basically vanished, she was afraid of offending Zhao Hai any further.
It was already quite late when the group checked in. So they settled their things and then headed to the hotel's dining hall.
The dining hall was also quite simple. It was on the hotel's first floor, and it's size wasn't that small, it was enough to house a hundred guests dining together.
As soon as Zhao Hai's group entered the hall, the hubbub of the guests quieted down. On these medium grade hotels, mercenaries were the common customers. They didn't only live here, they also receive tasks while in the hotel, making the hotel's profits quite good.
But these mercenaries were mostly quite rowdy, they drink while blabbering their mouths, take huge chunks of meat per bite. And adding on to the fact that it was the end of the day, and they had nothing else to do, they would congregate inside the hotel's dining hall.
Zhao Hai was acting as a Nobleman. When looking at his clothes, one would think of those young masters. Their appearance was quite unusual inside the hotel, there were no such young masters willing to stay at these kinds of establishments. Especially in hotels where mercenaries were staying.
Thus, when Zhao Hai and the others entered the dining hall, everyone immediately quieted down. They looked at Zhao Hai, and when they saw Laura's eyes, their gazes immediately turned green.
Zhao Hai looked at the mercenaries then had Laura and the others sit down. They ordered a bunch of dishes for the hotel staff to prepare. At this time, the mercenaries resumed their ruckus, returning the hall's atmosphere to the bustling scene it was before.
But Zhao Hai felt that these mercenaries were paying attention to them, making him feel uncomfortable. At this time, a drunk stood up from their table and drunkenly headed towards Zhao Hai's. He reached out his hand towards Laura's veil and said, "Beautiful Young Lady, why must you hide your face? Come show me, there's nothing good about that boy, why don't you come with me?"
How could Laura possibly allow the man to touch her? She immediately moved to the side but she didn't think that the drunk would have fast hands. Although she reacted quickly, the hand already reached her.
Naturally, this action cannot be ignored, so Shue who was sitting close by immediately took his axe and immediately chopped towards the mercenary's hand.
The mercenary was fast, he immediately dodged the huge ax. As he fell to the ground, he loudly shouted, "Murder! Murder! These nobles wants to kill me!". After he shouted, the mercenaries inside the dining hall immediately stood up one by one, took their weapons, and surrounded Zhao Hai.
Zhao Hai immediately understood that these weren't ordinary mercenaries. They were prepared and was specifically targeting him.
Zhao Hai sat there and gazed at the surrounding mercenaries and coldly said, "All 6th and 7th rank experts. How could there be these many mercenaries at this place?"
Shun and Shue also just realized, there were about a hundred mercenaries here, it was very unusual to have 6th and 7th ranks but not a single 5th rank or below among them.
Shue went to Zhao Hai's side, Laura and the others also did the same. The 'drunk' mercenary now stood up and yelled to Zhao Hai, "Even if you are Nobles, it doesn't mean that you can just kill anyone you like! Fortunately, this grandfather was fast, otherwise I'd have left my arm here. Pretty boy, you need to offer this grandpa some explanation!"
Zhao Hai looked at the person and said, "Evoking such huge ruckus, So if I provide an explanation, everything will be alright? What kind of explanation do you want?"
Zhao Hai turned his head to Shun and said, "Shun, go see Ruyen and see if she already ate."
Upon hearing Zhao Hai, the mercenary's face changed. They didn't expect Zhao Hai to be this meticulous, even thinking about this point.
Just like what Zhao Hai thought, these mercenaries had two parts of their plan. They need to keep Zhao Hai here, and have another team capture Ruyen. As long as they have Ruyen as their hostage, Zhao Hai wouldn't have the guts to retaliate.
However, they didn't think that Zhao Hai would make Shun go to see Ruyen. The mercenaries now hope that their companions have accomplished their part.
Still, they need to give their companions time. So the mercenary, upon seeing that Shun was getting ready to leave, immediately commanded, "Brothers, we cannot let him leave!" Then the mercenary took his weapon and attacked Zhao Hai.
The man's weapon was a short handled broad axe. In a small place such as this dining hall, this was the most suitable weapon. But when he moved, Shun immediately threw his hidden weapons while Shue produced shadows to surround the group.
To the two, Zhao Hai's security was the most important. As for Ruyen? Did she have any significance to them?
Zhao Hai just stood there quietly looking at the mercenaries. But in his mind, he was in contact with Cai'er. He wanted to have Cai'er see Ruyen's situation.
The information he received made him startled. Ruyen was already captured by the mercenaries. All of her escort guards were killed. Only Ruyen, Jill, and the two maids were kept alive. The mercenary's methods were quite ruthless. Zhao Hai's expression sank, it seems like this group was not simple. They weren't stingy in their methods of attaining their goals. Such people were very hard to deal with.