Recently, the animal trading market in the south of Blackhot City had become more boisterous. Compared to before when only the places which sold pets were lively, nowadays, the horse trading area became more bustling as many people in Blackhot City started to consider their private carriages. Besides, the Norman Empire's hierarchical system became increasingly more accepted and started to influence people's daily lives from all aspects.
In this animal trading market, recently a news spread that the horse trading area would be separated from the animal trading market. This was because someone waned to invest into a bigger and more senior horse trading market to satisfy the demands of some people in Blackhot City in the future.
In the Norman Empire, with the exception of army and public traffic, only soldiers could be allowed to use private vehicles in public areas. As many rich people and businessmen in Blackhot City were only commoners, once the military control came to an end, they could only put away their private cars at home.
Some were sorrowful and sighed while stud-farm bosses and farmers who bred a bit some horses in the surrounding farms all looked very satisfied.
There were several stud-farms in Blackhot City, which all had a booming business these days. At the same time, those farmers who knew how to breed horses, drive carriages, and take care of horses became in demand. This meant that many farmers who could only do farm work in the farmland would get an opportunity to work downtown.
If those rich commoners who could only have carriages wanted to have a carriage, they had to hire at least two workers, one driver, and one hostler. Besides, they had to buy at least two strong horses and customize a carriage that met the requirements of the Norman Empire. Additionally, they had to build a horse stable at home and spend money on taking care of the horses everyday.
Driving a carriage is more complicated than driving a car. Therefore, many people who prepared to change their method of transportation became resentful. However, even if they were unwilling, they could only do it as they dared not show their dissatisfaction at all.
That indicated just how strict the hierarchical system of the Norman Empire was. Even all the businessmen in the entire Norman Empire dared not oppose it, not to mention some independent businessmen. So even if there were people who were dissatisfied with this change in Blackhot City, more people were happy about it. Actually, the amount of the latter far surpassed that of the former.
If you wanted to use a private car, the solution was simple and transparent. Once you made enough contributions to the Norman Empire and became a soldier, you might have a chance to get a private car. If a businessman wanted to be a soldier of the Norman Empire, even the lowest rank—parasol-leaf soldier—the lowest threshold would also take you at least 1600 gold coins' taxation or donation.
The soldiers of the Norman Empire were divided into seven ranks. The lowest rank was parasol-leaf soldier, above which were respectively oak-leaf soldier, maple-leaf soldier, pine-needle soldier, and three senior soldier ranks—lilac soldier, rosebush soldier, and rose soldier. Each soldier rank enjoyed different rights on all aspects.
The oak leaves on Zhang Tie's military officer certificate indicated that he was in the oak-leaf rank, which brought him a treatment of a second lieutenant. In the Norman Empire, soldiers who sacrificed themselves for their country could always win more respect than those who only donated gold coins.
If a businessman who had become a parasol-leaf soldier, the lowest soldier rank, through legal taxation or donation wanted to be further promoted, besides several times higher taxation and donations, he had to meet several stricter requirements. For instance, he should not have a criminal record; additionally, he had to be a model of high morality in the society; he should be enthusiastic about doing social benefit activities and be generous in helping others.
After reaching these rigidly quantitative requirements, he should also collect the signatures of at least 300 commoners of the Norman Empire and pass the investigation of the Imperial Order Investigation Committee before became an oak-leaf soldier.
Oak-leaf soldiers had more rights than parasol-leaf soldiers.
The lowest-level officials of the Norman Empire would be chosen at least from oak-leaf soldiers or direct-line descendants of families composed of oak-leaf soldiers. Commoners and parasol-leaf soldiers were not qualified to be officials of the Norman Empire.
The hierarchical system was a set of rigid fundamental laws for ruling a country. Through hundreds of years' practice, this foundation of the Norman Empire was becoming more powerful and firm.
The book "The Charter of Orders" was published by the Imperial Order Investigation Committee of the Norman Empire which was the legal document on introducing the ruling foundation of the Norman Empire. This book was most discussed in Blackhot City these days as it had become the bestseller in bookstores.
Sitting before his own stall, Zhang Tie heard some guys who were also selling items nearby discussing this hottest topic. After it came the speculations about the escalating friction and battles between the Norman Empire and Sun Dynasty in Kalur region.
From those guys' discussion, Zhang Tie learned that it was the seven families of the Coal, Iron, and Steal Federation who had coordinated with the Norman Empire to realize a "peaceful liberation" of Blackhot City. As a reward, the clan elders of the seven families would be rewarded the status of rosebush soldiers of the Norman Empire.
As for Zhang Tie himself, because he had formed the Iron-Blood hidden strength, he was recruited by Colonel Leibniz to join the Iron-Blood Camp and luckily became one of the first eight natives who were rewarded with soldier rank in Blackhot City during the military control period. Although he was only a low-rank oak-leaf soldier, it was already great enough.
On the carpet before Zhang Tie were several bamboo cages which contained golden uangs. He had bought them from some kids in the early morning when he came here. There were more than 30 uangs, which had cost Zhang Tie 12 silver coins.
Golden uang was a very cute beetle. Male uangs had a huge horn on their heads, which made them adorable. Zhang Tie had also caught two in a tree he used to play when he was young. This kind of beetle was not expensive. However, it was not easy to catch a live one. It would take you some time to catch them. Those 11-12 old kids living in the farms outside Blackhot City were very excited about catching them as a part-time job.
Zhang Tie sat in front of his stall with his eyes on the uangs in the cages before him while waiting for the arrival of Samira, that bastard.
This time, Zhang Tie looked like a 20-odd pioneer in common clothes which looked a bit old. Besides them, he wore a summer hat and was leaning lazily against a banyan tree with a grass stem in his mouth. At the sight of him, people would know that he was just a sorehead.
At noon, Samira finally arrived, followed by two tough bodyguards.
Samira circled around the market with only over 30 golden uangs collected. This quantity could not meet today's mission, so he became a bit anxious. Each time he would get benefits from buying these live creatures. Once he could accomplish the task, Master Abyan would not mind giving him a bit of reward. However, if he could not accomplish the task, he was not brave enough to face Master Abyan's fury. What Samira feared most was to make Master Abyan think he was useless and start to become dissatisfied with him.
While his anxiousness continued to grow, he caught sight of that 20-odd youth—Zhang Tie's disguise—and the golden uangs that were put in a bamboo cage on the ground.
When he arrived in front of Zhang Tie, he didn't even ask him about the price before ordering a tough guy to take that cage containing uangs and throw the beetles into a larger cage in that tough man's hand.
"What are you doing?" Zhang Tie asked in a low-pitch voice with a furious expression, spitting off his grass stem.
"I want all of your golden uangs!"
Casting a glance at Zhang Tie's clothes, Samira showed a contemptuous expression.
"You want to take it away without even asking the price?" Zhang Tie asked.
"Ha!" Samira gave a cold harrumph and stared at Zhang Tie like seeing a rustic. "Are you here for the first time? Don't you know who I am?"
"I don't care who you are, if you want my commodities, you have to pay!"
"Of course I will pay!"
Saying this, Samira took out several silver coins from the inside of his coat and threw them to Zhang Tie. After that, he turned back and walked away, followed by two tough guys.
Only after a few steps, Zhang Tie had already caught up with them. "You only paid me eight silver coins, that's not enough. My golden uangs deserve at least 16 silver coins..."
Hearing this, Samira and the two tough men turned back at the same time.
"Brat, I've given you face and you should take it. Only I am collecting golden uangs in Blackhot City. Only kids would play with these animals, I've already given you face by paying you eight silver coins!"
Samira's face instantly became solemn.
Zhang Tie threw the eight silver coins back to Samira. "Here are your silver coins, give me back my golden uangs, 23 in total, I will not sell them!"
Samira didn't catch Zhang Tie's silver coins but cast a glance at a tough guy beside him. When Zhang Tie stretched out his hand to grab that cage in Samira's cage, the tough men directly pushed him several steps back, forcing him down on the ground.
"Brat, if you keep being this stupid, I will beat you up. Hurriedly take the silver coins and roll out of here!" Samira swore. After that, he turned back and left while the two tough men gesticulated with their fists at Zhang Tie.
Seeing the argument, many people moved close to Zhang Tie.
"Brat, never mind it, those people are collecting uangs for Master Abyan. You can not offend him. Take the silver coins from the ground and leave as soon as possible!" some kind-heart man started to persuade him.
Dumbfounded, Zhang Tie sat on the ground for a while, seemingly having been greatly wronged. After that, he suddenly shouted loudly and jumped up from the ground. He then chased after Samira. On the way there, he pulled out of a shiny dagger from inside his coat which really scared the surrounding people. They had never imagined that Zhang Tie was that righteous.
What happened next was too fast.
The moment Samira heard Zhang Tie's shout did he saw Zhang Tie rushing towards him with a dagger in hand. In a split second, Zhang Tie thrust his dagger directly into Samira's heart. Afterwards, he grabbed his cage and escaped immediately...
Not until Zhang Tie was more than ten meters away did the two muscled men following Samira understand what had happened. At the sight of Samira's fallen body in this quick manner, they immediately rushed after Zhang Tie.
Zhang Tie kept running towards a hill in the south of Blackhot City. He ran so fast that after chasing him for less than 50 m. , the two tough men, running with gritted teeth, saw his shadow far off in the distance, which then quickly disappeared in the woods...
The two tough men also entered the woods and searched for quite awhile, but were not able to find even a hair of Zhang Tie. They could only dejectedly return to that place where Samira had been assassinated. After such a long period, Samira no longer had any signs of life on him.
When they rushed off to chase after Zhang Tie, the onlookers immediately left, not even casting a second glance at Samira who was lying on the ground.
Everybody felt that he had deserved that. Seeing the two tough guys coming backwith disgruntled looks, many people in the market even became happy.
"Samira that bastard should have long died!"
"That's it, that Chinese youth runs so fast and has such a righteous morality..."
"I heard that none of the Chinese of the Norman Empire are easily offended."
"Of course, some bastards would behave better than that!"
Among all the onlookers in the market, only a local snake's face turned pale when he caught sight of the dead Samira lying on the ground. From the onlookers' discussions, he already knew that the one who had killed Samira was the very Chinese youth who had asked him where Samira was in the morning by paying him several silver coins. However, at this moment, he would never admit that someone had asked him about Samira's whereabouts.
'This was just a fight arisen from an unfair deal. That's it! I haven't seen that Chinese youth before, never have seen him before! It's so pathetic to see such a murder in this market!' That man told him himself this twice inside.
Soon, a sheriff came to the market to investigate the present scene. He recorded the cause of Samira's death and how the murder had happened. Murder was a great case. It took the sheriff over one hour to finish this. Finally, he let the two muscled men carry away Samira' body.
According to witnesses' descriptions, the murderer was a 20-odd Chinese pioneer. Nobody knew his name, where he came from, where he lived, or whether he had some partners or friends. From the descriptions of the onlookers, even that killer's look became weird.
Additionally, the moment that killer murdered Samira, he ran away. Nobody knew whether he would come back to Blackhot City or not. For such a case, nobody would be interested in investigating it. Actually, they didn't even have time to search for him in the wild. At most, the sheriffs would warn their counterparts in Blackhot City to pay attention to whether there were 20-odd Chinese pioneers who met these descriptions.
Soon after Samira's body was carried back into the luxurious castle-like manor beside the Lvyin Lake, Master Abyan, who enjoyed a great reputation in Blackhot City, learned that Samira was killed...