Chapter 453 – Side Dishes
After returning to his courtyard, Zhao Hai sat down and let out a long breath. When Laura saw Zhao Hai, she immediately gave him a cup of hot tea and said, "Brother Hai, what happened? You seem very tired, what did you talk with Smith about?"
Zhao Hai forced a smile and said, "He didn't say anything wrong, he was very polite. But being with them is very tiring, I feel even more tired than I did while fighting."
When she heard Zhao Hai, Laura couldn't help but smile, "Of course it’s more tiring than being in a battle. When fighting, you just stay behind and common the troops, it’s really not that exhausting."
Zhao Hai gave Laura a look which caused him to laugh. At this moment, Megan also came in. When she saw Zhao Hai, she smiled and said, "Big Brother Hai, it seems like they are very impressed by you. It'll be great if my uncles support you. This way, we won't be facing any obstacles in the future."
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "It's not really that good. When I had dinner with your uncles earlier, they didn't discuss any matters of the family and just did small talks. This meant that they are still on guard with each other. If we get into such great trouble, I don’t' think that they will be supporting us that much."
Megan sighed when she heard Zhao Hai's words. She knew that Zhao Hai's words were real. She knew that even if his uncles are now friendly with each other, when it comes to the battle for the seat of the Patriarch, they would surely be impolite.
When he saw Megan's expression, Zhao Hai comforted her and said, "Well, it's alright, you don't need to think too much into it. I know that all your uncles still place the Calci Family first. Uncle Smith also told me about the arrangements of the family. You don't have to worry too much."
Megan nodded, but one could still see that she was quite unhappy. Zhao Hai couldn't do anything about this family struggle, this kind of scenario happens in almost all families.
Zhao Hai thought about shifting the topic as he said, " We'll send Grandpa Gan some seafood later. God's Grace Day is in two days, so I'm thinking we should take a stroll around the capital and play around. This period of time, various products should be converging inside the city because of the holidays. We must go around and find some good things to bring back."
Megan looked at Zhao Hai and smiled, "Alright, let's go to the city tomorrow and have a good look. What does Big Brother Hai want to buy?"
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "At this point I don't know, but I still want to take a look, maybe I'll find some things I like. Let's also go to the slave market tomorrow, I think we still need quite a few more slaves back at the territory."
Megan nodded and said, "Alright, but Brother Hai, do we really need to buy more slaves? Don't we have 100 thousand slaves coming from the prairie?"
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "Rest assured, I didn't forget about that. But those Beastman slaves cannot farm. We need to buy some Human slaves and have them teach the Beastmen the basics of farming. Moreover, Humans can make simple houses, while the Beastmen cannot, they are already quite used to living in tents, it’s a matter of habit. Because of this, I thought that it would be better to get more Human slaves."
Megan nodded, "Right, but the slave market isn't inside the city, it's outside. I think the slave market would be more busy after the holidays and also have more slaves, it would be a good idea to head there at that time."
Zhao Hai replied, "Why would it be busy at that time? And if it would be busy by then, won't we be unable to select the good ones?"
Megan smiled and said, "During the holidays, Great Nobles would be too busy to go buy some decent slaves. After the holidays, they would go find some slaves to help them manage their matters. If those slaves do well, then they would be living a good life. Moreover, they also lost a lot of slaves because of exhaustion and sickness, so the nobles would also look for new ones by then. But Brother Hai doesn't need to worry, there are a lot of slaves in the market, it would be impossible for us to not find some good ones."
Zhao Hai frowned and said, "Where did these slaves come from, why are there too many?"
Laura smiled and answered, "Brother Hai doesn't know, but those slaves are commoners who were unable to pay their taxes, some are also those who borrowed money and wasn't able to pay it back. Some are generational slaves, children of other slaves. There are also some elderly slaves who are not needed anymore. Because of this, there has never been a shortage of slaves in the continent."
Zhao Hai sighed, he cannot say anything. He knew that with his present ability, he has no way of changing this custom of the continent. He could just do his best in order to help those he can.
Megan also knew about Zhao Hai's thoughts. When she first heard about Zhao Hai releasing slaves and restoring the commoner status, she was startled. But she was also a good person, when Meg explained to her about Zhao Hai's intent, she immediately approved of Zhao Hai's methods. Now that she saw Zhao Hai looking quite unhappy, she shifted the topic to something else, "Big Brother Hai, how about you give Grandpa Gan the seafood right now? This will also give him more time to prepare them."
Zhao Hai nodded, then he stood up. Laura stood up as well and said, "We'll go explore Dark Soldier Fortress in the meantime, I want to see what makes it different from Iron Mountain Fort."
Megan smiled and said, "Alright, but Dark Soldier Fortress has some areas that are forbidden. Only some places are allowed to be explored, I'll go lead you there." Then she went with Laura outside, Zhao Hai smiled helplessly as he followed right behind them.
When they left the courtyard, they were immediately greeted by some servants. Megan asked one of them to lead them to Gansu. Gansu held special status in the family, even Randolph held some sort of respect to him. Gansu is someone who never limits the things coming out of his mouth and was generally quite impolite. But although he had an explosive temperament, he was actually quite kind to the servants. Because of this, the servants in the family gave him very high respect. If they made any mistakes, Gansu would just scold them a bit and then forget about it later.
Zhao Hai quickly found Gansu, who at this time was in the kitchen. Since God's Grace Day is approaching, there was a massive need to prepare some food, especially in a place like Dark Soldier Fort. Since banquets were happening, it won't be good for the family's face if they were to run out of food.
At this time of the year, Gansu was in charge of keeping everything in check inside the warehouse of the kitchen. Gansu didn't have any impatient expressions, he carefully inspected everything.
Zhao Hai couldn’t help but stare when he entered at the warehouse. The things inside were simply numerous. There were even some ingredients that he had never seen before. All of them were neatly placed inside the warehouse according to their classifications.
At this moment, the servant arrived at Gansu's side and whispered a few words. Gansu stared for a moment before he turned to look at Zhao Hai. Gansu's impression of Zhao Hai was very good, so he immediately stepped forward and laughed, "Liitle Hai, Little Megan, why did you come here? You want to have some delicious stuff? Don't worry, if some arrive I definitely won't forget you."
Megan ran up to Gansu's side and held his arm, "Grandpa Gan, Big Brother Hai came here to deliver some stuff. You better receive them or else you will certainly regret it."
Gansu stared, then he turned to Zhao Hai and said, "Little Hai, you have some good things? What are they? Can I see them?"
Zhao Hai smiled and waved his hand, making a big pile of products appear on the floor. One could see some swordfishes and crabs among other things. Moreover, their sizes aren’t very small.
These are the things that Zhao Hai asked Cai'er to cultivate. With how large they look, they would certainly be eye-catching.
Gansu looked at the products and couldn't help but be surprised. His eyes turned bright when he saw the swordfishes as well as the crabs. These are very rare in the continent, even if one saw them, they were very hard to catch. If these are made into dishes and shown to others, their banquet would surely have high attendance.
These past few years, there were no new dishes that were served in these banquets. Everyone just ate the same things, there was nothing new. But with these things present, the Calci Family's banquet would surely be very good.
The things that Zhao Hai took out were all dead and frozen, but it still baffled Gansu. They would generally cool the products inside cold storage areas filled with magic arrays, this way, they would last a long time, and may even allow them to be consumed in the summer.
Gansu stared at the pile for quite some time before he turned to Zhao Hai, "Good, boy, you really have good things. With these seafood, we could make the Buda Clan shine this year. Good job."
When she saw Gansu's reaction, Megan smiled, "See, Grandpa Gan? I said that Big Brother Hai has some good stuff. Go get some people to take them away quickly, or else they would melt. Alright, we'll be going now, I'll go lead sister Laura and the others to explore the fort."
Gansu didn't stop them, he nodded and said, "Go, go. Little Hai, since you won't be joining the ladies, come with me. Let's have a drink between grandfather and grandson."
Zhao silently nodded and stayed. Megan and the others chuckled as they went away. Gansu wasn't polite with Zhao Hai as he directly brought him to the kitchen. He had the cook make some side dishes for them as he took out a pot of wine and sat with Zhao Hai to drink.
In the past, Zhao Hai would drink some wine with his old friends. He wouldn't drink too much and would just enjoy the chat and the company, it felt great. But when he arrived in the Ark Continent, he wasn't able to experience such opportunity. And now, Gansu made him remember the old times, this gave Zhao Hai a warm feeling.
Gansu and Zhao Hai leisurely drank wine and ate some of the side dishes, they had a very good time. Even if it was the holidays, and everyone in the fort were quite busy, Gansu was an exception. He would just delegate the tasks to his subordinates and would just check their progress from time to time. Because of this, he wasn't that busy. Moreover, the servants that were under him were the children of the slaves, they didn't have much negative feelings towards him, making Gansu's life quite at ease.
Chapter 454 – Two Types of Liquor
Gansu initially thought that since Zhao Hai was a child born of a Noble family, he would be unfamiliar with this set-up of drinking and eating side dishes, and would be uncomfortable while being with him. However, he didn't expect that Zhao Hai would actually have a very happy expression, he chatted with him, drank some wine while munching on some food. Seeing how Zhao Hai was more comfortable than he was, Gansu's impression of Zhao Hai cannot help but raise two points.
After drinking a glass of wine, Gansu said, "Little Hai, I can see that you're a good kid. But I want to tell you that I've watched Little Megan grew up. Although this little girl is noble born, she is good natured, she's pure as water. If you dare not treat Megan well, then even at the cost of my life, I will teach you a lesson."
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "Grandpa Gan, you're thinking too much. I have a very good relationship with Megan, it would be impossible for me to not treat her well. Rest assured, Zhao Hai isn't that bad of a person."
After hearing Zhao Hai, Gansu nodded and said, "If something happens in the future, go have someone send me a letter. There are a few people in the Calci Family that I can't handle, there are also a few people in Rosen Empire that would dare not give me face. Those fellows in the Family, you don't need to care about them. If they give you trouble, I'll take care of it."
Zhao Hai smiled faintly, although he didn't fear the Calci Family, he still didn't want to fall out with them because of his relationship with Megan. Because of this, he was happy with what Gansu said.
Gansu looked at Zhao Hai and seemed more satisfied. He smiled and said, "Little Hai, you're a talented fellow, you're future won't be small. But do remember to not forget about your grandfather when you get some good stuff. Your Grandpa Gan doesn't have any other hobby other than drinking. Your Milk Wine is very good, if you have any other nice liquors, do remember to give some to me."
Zhao Hai stared, he didn't expect Gansu to ask for nothing else other than some nice wines. This surprised him, he admired this old man in front of him. Zhao Hai smiled faintly and with a wave of his hand, two bottles of liquor appeared. One bottle was black beer, while the other was good rice wine.
These two bottles weren't fermented by Zhao Hai's group, but were instead produced by the Multipurpose Processing Machine. Of course, Zhao Hai didn't plan to produce his liquor through the processing machine. He only had the machine produce the liquor so that the people researching them could have a reference. After countless experiments and finally producing the liquor, these two bottles were the only ones that remained.
Gansu looked at Zhao Ha's two bottles. The bottles were transparent, so he can see the color of its contents. One of them was transparent while the other was black, which made him very confused.
Zhao Hai opened the black bottle first. Naturally, this black liquid was black beer. The beer's foam was very rich. Zhao Hai intentionally got a big glass, filling half of it with beer while the other half was filled with foam.
Zhao Hai raised the glass to Gansu and smiled, "Grandpa Gan, have a taste, this is a new liquor that I've been researching. But this one doesn't have any means of mass production right now, this bottle is from the most successful batch."
Gansu looked at the half-filled glass. He smelled it and got a mild smell from it, but despite this, he couldn't help but be more curious. He took a small sip and tried to taste it, only to find out that he only drank the foam. Zhao Hai laughed and said, "Grandpa Gan, this liquor isn't too strong. Just drink the entire glass so that you can taste it."
Gansu didn't blame Zhao Hai, instead he followed his instruction and downed the glass in one go. He couldn't help but stare before his eyes lit up, "Good liquor, fantastic! The taste of this liquor isn't very strong. It has a different kind of taste, but it isn't something I'm used to."
Zhao Hai looked at Gansu, he knew that the old man liked strong liquor. He didn't say anything and just handed Ganus a cup of rice wine.
Rice wine was divided into many types, rice wine produced by peasants were generally not distilled. Because of this, the liquor wasn't very strong, even children can take one or two cups of it.
But those produced by most farmers have been distilled, giving the liquor quite the strength. Although it was slightly sweet and does not go to one's head, it was still strong. What Zhao Hai took out was the latter type, a fierce rice wine, which was also something that a northerner like Zhao Hai liked.
Because the weather in northern parts of China were generally cold, people liked to drink strong liquor. Because commercial rice wine aren't very strong, families in the north decided to brew their own liquors in their backyards. They didn't like drinking those weak liquor, even drinking a jin of it would still make them unhappy. Northerners want to drink strong liquor, something over 40 degrees and along the lines of 60. Let along one jin, an average person would get drunk in just half a glass. Even if you're quite an experienced drinker, you would still feel tipsy.
The rice wine that Zhao Hai took out was over 40 degrees. For those in the north, it was still considered to be on the low side. Adding on to its sweet taste, people who drink it wouldn't get hit that hard by its intensity.
Gansu looked at the cup, he lifted it up and smelled it. This wasn't Milk Wine, it didn't have that milky fragrance. Instead, this rice wine had the smell of regular wine.
After smelling the liquor, Gansu tasted it, then his eyes turned bright, he immediately downed the entire cup and swirled the liquid inside his mouth. He wrinkled his brows, the strength of this wine was higher than Milk Wine, a liquor known for how strong it was.
After savoring the alcohol, Gansu laughed and said, "Nice Wine! This is really nice wine, Little Hai, If you have any more of this liquor, you must leave some here for me."
Zhao Hai gave a forced smile and said, "We still didn't have any way to mass produce this liquor right now, we only have this bottle left. I'll leave this bottle to you, when we find a way to make a lot of them, I'll go and send you a batch."
When Gansu heard Zhao Hai, he couldn't help but laugh as he said, "Good, I'll wait for your delivery. Come, come, this bottle still has some left in it, today we drink."
Seeing how the other person was very enthusiastic, Zhao Hai didn't decline. He and Gansu continued to eat some side dishes while drinking liquor. Before long, the bottom of the bottle can be seen. With Zhao Hai's current capacity, he was now feeling dizzy. He stopped drinking and said his goodbyes before returning to Rustling Tree Courtyard.
Zhao Hai immediately drank some Spatial Water upon arriving at the courtyard. To be honest, even if the liquor that he drank was very simple, it was the most enjoyable drink that he had in a long time.
Blockhead and Rockhead were present, Zhao Hai looked at them and said, "Tomorrow we'll go to the city and buy some things and have them delivered to Iron Mountain Fort. No matter what, we have over 1000 people in the fort, this God's Grace Day, we need to help them celebrate."
Blockhead and Rockhead nodded, then Zhao Hai said, "When you go back to the fort tomorrow, you don't need to return here. The place should be very busy, you two can go help Grandpa Green and the others. Although the Beastmen doesn't celebrate God's Grace Day, they are still in human territory, let's make them experience our festivities."
Blockhead and Rockhead nodded again, these more than 1000 people can be considered to be part of the Buda Clan. Naturally, they would treat them properly.
After some time, Megan and the others came back. When she saw Zhao Hai, Megan cannot help but smile and said, "Big Brother Hai, I didn't you we’re very strong. I just saw Grandpa Gan earlier with a reddened face. There is no way that his capacity for liquor is that low, what type of wine did you drink with him?"
Zhao Hai smiled, "No need to tell me that, you're Grandpa Gan's alcohol capacity isn't a joke. I almost couldn't head back here, I only managed to feel well after drinking some Spatial water."
Megan also knew that the Spatial Water can sober one up. When she heard Zhao Hai, she couldn't help but chuckle. Zhao Hai didn't care about it as he looked at the skies and said, "The sky has already turned black, I've been drinking with Grandpa Gan all this time. Wouldn't your family be looking for us? I didn't do anything else today other than eat."
Megan and Laura smiled, then Megan replied, "It's alright, I already had Grandpa tell Mother and Father to not prepare any meals today."
Zhao Hai nodded then he said, "That's great. I'm quite tired as well, I'll go back to the Space and rest for a while. You go play outside and when you're done, you can just talk to Cai'er if you want to go to the Space." Then his body flashed and entered the Space.
Laura turned her head to Megan and smiled, "It looks like Brother Hai is really very exhausted. Megan, we'll go to the city tomorrow to buy stuff. Iron Mountain Fort will also be celebrating the new year. We must prepare something for them."
Blockhead smiled, "Miss Laura can feel relieved, the young master already told us that we'll buy some items for the fort tomorrow. Then I will go back there to help along with Rockhead."
Laura nodded, "It looks like Elder Brother Hai already thought of this. Right now, Iron Mountain Fort doesn't need to worry about food and water. I think it would be good if we get some things that aren't produced there."
Megan nodded, "Right, we'll go to the eastern market tomorrow. The eastern market sells rare goods. We can go there and take a look at the various goods used in the continent. I'm thinking of buying some things for the people of Iron Mountain Fort. This is the first year that our Buda Clan reappeared on the continent, we must make this celebration lively."
Laura looked at Megan and smiled, "Little Megan is quite good, now starting to say 'our' Buda Clan. It seems like she's very impatient to marry Brother Hai."
When Megan heard Laura, her face couldn’t help but redden, she turned to Laura and said, "Why are you saying that to me? You've been with Big Brother Hai for longer, aren't you more impatient than me?"
Laura's face also turned red, she turned to the sneering Meg and couldn't help but tease, "I can't compare to Sister Meg, she has been following Brother Hai since they were children, she must be the most impatient among us."
Then Meg's face turned red, she looked at the other two and said, "Hmph, I've been with the young master since I was a child. I've already become quite used to waiting. Right, how about I tell Grandfather and Grandmother to delay the wedding by two years."
Laura and Megan immediately threw themselves to her, playfully beating her while saying, "You dare!" The group became jolly as Rockhead and Blocked slowly retreated with a smile on their faces.