Chapter 347 – Shelley Family's Test
Zhao Hai and the others had already gotten used to it these past days. They would even consider it strange if nobody would attack them at night. Therefore when they heard hoofbeats, Zhao Hai immediately opened the monitor to observe the situation.
Before long, a team of cavalry appeared on the monitor. The group numbered about 500 people, but the cavalry weren't heavily armored, they had bows and arrows as well as spears and swords. They look like light cavalry, wearing only leather armor.
But on this group's saddles were several heads of people. This image made Zhao Hai confused. Looking at the state of the heads, it seemed like they were killed not too long ago. What is happening?
After a short while, the cavalry arrived at Zhao Hai's camp. Surprisingly, they didn't attack Zhao Hai but instead they stopped and dismounted from their horses.
A dismounted cavalry was a message of well-meaning. Since people knew that the main attacking prowess of cavalry soldiers was when they were on the backs of their mounts, a dismounted cavalry means that they don't have any intention of attacking.
Zhao Hai was confused as he looked at the cavalry, he didn't know what this group's intentions were. At this time, a cavalryman took a few steps forward and said, "Is the man in front mister Wales?"
Zhao Hai nodded, "It's me. And you are?"
The man immediately replied, "This one is from Shelley Family. I'm light cavalry captain Might responsible for escorting mister. Mister had been attacked these past few days, but since mister suddenly changed course, the family had been slow to react, please forgive me."
Zhao Hai was surprised, he didn't think that Shelley Family would protect him. He quickly responded, "I wouldn't dare. So it turns out to be friends from Shelley Family, please take a seat. Shun, Shue, go prepare some lamb and some mutton soup for these brothers."
Shun and Shue complied and immediately took out several pots from the supply carriage and prepared some food for Might and his team. Seeing that Zhao Hai allowed them to enter their camp, Might relaxed, then he immediately had his subordinates construct several tents outside the camp and have the heads removed from the saddles. Zhao Hai knew without asking that these heads were from those who would've attacked him but were killed by this cavalry group.
Zhao Hai asked Might to sit by the bonfire. He looked at Might and said, "Brother Might, you said that you were ordered by the Shelley Family to protect me, why is that? I may have some milk wine to trade with the family but I don't think that our relationship has gone quite deep."
Zhao Hai knew that there was no point in going around circles when talking to soldiers, so he got straight to the point.
Sure enough, Might immediately answered, "Mister is too polite. Although mister only had some milk wine trades with the family, he has helped us a lot before. Mister once saved the hotel at Hundred Battles Fortress, which made the Grand Duke go after mister. The family felt responsible for the incident so we wanted to send someone to escort mister. But our family had been suppressed by Grand Duke Lionheart for so long, so I was only able to arrive today."
Upon hearing Might, Zhao Hai knew that he managed to reach Shelley Family from his recent actions, making the family send him some guards for protection. This was a good start.
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "This is nothing. We are partners and I just happened to be there at that time and those people took me as an excuse, so I naturally couldn't just ignore it. I did it not to help the family but to save my reputation."
Might laughed and said, "Mister says this, but the house couldn’t' help but feel responsible. In any case, this matter was because of us so the family sent us out to escort mister and his group. Let me tell mister about something, this will soon pass."
Zhao Hai stared at Might and said, "Why? Did the family already prepare a counter-attack?"
Might didn't hide the truth from Zhao Hai, with a serious tone he said, "Nobody can suppress Shelley Family and not pay the price. The family is a business family and doesn't generally work with nobles. The family's attention is mainly on making money, but Lionheart had been too much this time, the family couldn't stay back any longer."
Zhao Hai nodded, Shelley Family was one of the pinnacle business families in the continent. Although they weren't as overbearing as the Markey Family, they also wouldn't be polite to those who offend them.
Might looked at Zhao Hai, "The members of the family look highly upon mister. These past few days, Lionheart had been trying to deal with mister but you had managed to stave him off time and time again. This feat attracted our admiration."
Zhao Hai smiled faintly and said, "If I don't have such skill, then I wouldn't dare cooperate with the Shelley Family. Also, If I don't have such ability, I wouldn't wade in such turbid waters."
Might felt Zhao Hai's self-confidence and was so amused that he couldn't help but laugh. He smiled at Zhao Hai and said, "Mister is really a frank person. Hahaha, I really like to make friends with people like mister."
Zhao Hai also laughed, "I also like to make friends with people like you, simple and direct. Being friends with nobles is too tiring. Hahaha"
At this time, Shue had already prepared the mutton soup. These mutton were made from Iron Mountain Fort. Just pour in hot water and wait for a while then you can already eat it. Although it didn't taste as good as fresh mutton, it was quite a delicacy in this kind of weather.
After eating, Might went back to take a rest but not before leaving 50 men to be the night guards. They came this time to protect Zhao Hai so obviously they couldn't make Zhao Hai's men keep watch for the night.
With Might's men keeping watch for the night, Zhao Hai's group naturally slept in extreme comfort. After having their early morning breakfast, Zhao Hai and the others rushed towards River Law City under the protection of Might.
Zhao Hai knew for a fact that Might already knew about their whereabouts and can catch up to them at any time. They simply didn't do so because they want to see Zhao Hai's strength and determine whether Zhao Hai was qualified enough to have the family's support.
The people from Shelley Family knew that protecting Zhao Hai meant that they were willing to further their cooperation with him. For a large family like Shelley's, people who they form connections with must be competent enough, otherwise they wouldn't be able to match the family's status.
After observing these past few days, the Shelley Family deemed Zhao Hai to have enough capability to cooperate with them. Thus, Might appeared.
Zhao Hai didn't sit inside his carriage today, but stood at the bench outside the carriage. Might was right beside him on horseback. Zhao Hai looked at Ruyen's carriage and said to Might, "We'll settle inside River Law City for a few days to recuperate as well as to solve the young lady's problem. All her escort guards are dead so she couldn't go study at Carson City anymore. So I'm sending a letter to Grand Duke Evan and have him send people to fetch Ruyen here. When I receive the Grand Duke's reply, I'll leave River Law and head to Sky Water City, when that time comes I'll have to trouble you with Ruyen's safety."
Might smiled and said, "Of course, as long as they are guests inside Shelley Hotel, we would certainly guarantee their safety. Not to mention that the City Lord has connections to our Shelley Family. So the security of young lady Ruyen is not a problem."
Zhao Hai nodded, "That's good, so you're saying that River Law city is under Shelley Family's domain? Then we should be safe being there right?"
Might smiled, "Although it couldn't be our domain, River Law city could be considered to be our home. There, nobody could touch us, even if Rosen Empire's Emperor wanted to deal with us, we would have a lot of ways to retreat."
Zhao Hai nodded and said, "Good, your words made me feel relieved. Right, if I wanted to head towards Sky Water City, what would be the easiest way to get there?"
Might smiled faintly, "It would be riding a boat. River Law City is just adjacent to Law river, and the river stretches up to Sky Water City, so you can go there through this body of water. Thus , if you want to travel quickly to Sky Water City, travelling by boat would be the most convenient method."
Zhao Hai nodded, "Good, then we'll wait for the boat passing through Law river. Right, you don't need to protect me anymore when I had towards Sky Water City. Also, how much do you know about Sky Water City?"
Might smiled, "Not very much, you should know that Shelley Family's headquarters isn't inside the empire, but the clan had been planning to move here. Although the empire isn't very likeable, they have one thing right, which was being the at the dead center of the continent. Not only did it place at the center of the continent, its waterways were also very suitable for trade. So the family had always wanted to move the headquarters to Rosen Empire. And Sky Water City was the city that was of the most concern to us. It is a natural harbor, able to dock large sized ships. And from there, you could head directly south towards Ocean Waves Dynasty directly. Towards north, you would be able to reach the Beastman Prairie. One could say the city is Rosen Empire's center of maritime traffic. But the city was under the rule of Calci Family, and Calci Family is one of the oldest nobles of the empire. They hold great power, and Sky Water City is the family's money purse. Nobody else could touch it. Therefore, our forces there could only be small. The other were the same, even the Radiant Church that is everywhere in the continent was very unpopular there."
Zhao Hai nodded, he didn't say anything, and more importantly he couldn't just tell Might that Calci family was basically the League of Dark Mages. For such a clan to allow the Radiant Church to establish a foothold in their own domain would be crazy.
Might turned to Zhao Hai and said, "Why was mister asking? Does Mister want to do business with the Calci Family? That family has always been low-key, only a few people in the continent had managed to cooperate with them. I'm afraid doing business with that family will not be easy."
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "I'm just saying this. You should know that I have a business inside the prairie, and Sky water City has a harbor that could be used to head towards the prairie directly. And the tax also wasn't high, therefore I decided to go to that city to do business. Moreover, I also heard that the entirety of Sky Water City is controlled by Calci Family. So if I go there, how could Grand Duke Lionheart be able to touch me?"
Might nodded, "He absolutely wouldn't dare. Everyone inside Sky Water City reports to Calci Family. As long as you settle there, even if the Rosen Empire's Emperor wanted to catch you, he would still need to go through Calci Family. It was precisely because of this that a lot of merchants gathered in Sky Water City for the protection of Calci Family."
Zhao Hai didn't expect that the Calci Family would have such control over Sky Water City. But it was better for Zhao Hai, with this kind of control, nobody would be able to mess with him.
The group didn't hurry along, but when people on the road see them, they would immediately make way. The cavalry had hung the family flag of Shelley Family. At this time, if someone dared to attack them, they would be offending the family. There wasn't a lot of people in the continent who had such guts. If Shelley Family really put their foot into it, even the Rosen Empire Emperor would need to behave temporarily.
Only a fellow like Grand Duke Lionheart, who did not know about the immensity of heaven and earth, would offend someone like the Shelley Family. Although if you were to mention a merchant family, the first thing to come into people's mind would be Markey Family, it was because the Markey Family was too overbearing and thus left very deep impression on the people in the continent.
However, if someone really understood the intricacies of the continent, Shelley Family was also a powerhouse that couldn't just be offended. Their family being able to open hotels all throughout the continent is a testament to their strength.
The hotel industry was a very profitable business, but for so many years, the Shelley Family had always been the pinnacle of the hotel chain business. Wasn't this fact enough to explain their capabilities?
There were even rumors in the continent that the all-powerful Markey Family once tried dipping their hands in the hotel business, making them in conflict with the Shelley Family. But in the end, the Markey Family wasn't able to shake Shelley Family's position. This should be quite enough to explain the family's might.
Presently, Zhao Hai was like a small spider, knitting his web network little by little. And when he is done, he would have the strength to revive the Buda Clan.
Obviously, Shelley Family is an indispensable part of this network. With such strong collaborator, Zhao Hai's network will be more robust and be more resistant to getting blown away.
Without stopping, the convoy could already see River Law City when noon came. But there was still still a ways to go, although they could see the city's shadow, it would still take them two hours of travel to reach there.
Zhao Hai and the others simply ate inside their carriage and didn't stop. And Might who was beside their carriage just munched on some dry rations and continued on without stopping.