"Yea, your home truly had a big event which shocked the whole Blackhot City!"
"Could it be the secret police..."
Zhang Tie was drenched in sweat when he thought of this possibility.
"No, it has nothing to do with the secret police. What surprised people was that your family members are descendants of the Huaiyuan Palace. Several days ago, someone from Zhang clan of Huaiyuan Palace came to Blackhot City by an airship and carried away your family members!"
Zhang Tie felt as if he was struck by a lightning bolt, leaving him dumbfounded. What he had not imagined was that his family members were descendants of the Zhang clan of Huaiyuan Palace.
His dad and mom had never mentioned it before. How could they suddenly have so many relatives? It sounded so great. The clan which could directly fly to Blackhot City from Jinyun Country by airship was definitely not average.
But what was weird was that his dad and mom had not mentioned it to him since he was born. Zhang Tie wondered what was the real reason for it.
After learning that his family members had been safely carried away by Zhang clan, Zhang Tie was really surprised. The greatest concern that was held in his heart these days finally fell down. He felt relaxed and comfortable all over as if he had ignited another burning point.
Zhang Tie, he would not complain no matter how hard and how numerous hardships he had to experience as long as his family members were safe and sound. Being a member of Zhang clan, of course it was 1000 times better than staying in Blackhot City. Previously, Zhang Tie had been racking his mind how to transfer his family members away. Now, all the problems were solved.
The old man kept observing Zhang Tie's face. Once he heard the news, Zhang Tie's expression shifted and changed, just like a big dye vat. When his face finally recovered its composure, the old man told him the other message.
"On the second day of the beer festival, the airship of Huaiyuan Palace was seen in Blapei. They planned to pick you up too, but you were a wanted criminal at the time and nobody knew where you were hiding. Your family members and the people of Huaiyuan Palace stayed for two days but found no clues whatsoever. Finally, they had to leave. Based on the speed of the airship, they might reach Jinyun Country in one week!"
'It turns out that my family members looked for me! They must be very worried after learning that I’m wanted.'
Zhang Tie became a bit worried again.
"Can the Golden Roc Bank contact my family members now?"
"No! At least not now" The old man shook his head. "There are branches of Golden Roc Bank in the territory of Zhang clan of Huaiyuan Palace. If you want to contact your family members, we can first send the news to Jinyun Country and tell them to pay attention to the news of your family members. When your family members land there, we can then send your message to them!"
"Fine, that's great!" Zhang Tie immediately made a decision. "Please tell my family members that I'm fine; I will soon go to them. They shouldn’t worry about me!"
The old man smiled as he drew out a standard form from a drawer on a side of the desk. "For long-distance remote communications, you should pay by words, including the punctuation. Write down what you want to say. We will pass all the content that you write to your family members!"
Seeing the standard form, Zhang Tie revealed a bashful smile. He then picked up a pen and wrote down the names of his dad, his mom, and his elder brother in the top three columns of contact people. After a thinking for a while, he scribbled down the following lines:
—Dad, mom, elder brother, and elder sister-in-law, I'm fine; don't worry about me. I know that you've been taken away by Huaiyuan Palace's airship. Especially mom, don't worry about me. Your son is safe and sound, haven’t even lost a hair. I can eat and jump as usual. Elder brother, remember to look after our parents well. If there's any need, what I've told to Donder could be your final reliance. They should know its value. Elder sister-in-law is going to deliver a baby, watch for her body. No need to concern yourself about me, I will come back as soon as possible!
After writing those words, Zhang Tie took another careful look at it to ensure that the message contained all that he wanted to express. He then gave the paper to the old man.
"Hmm, I will have a look. Since you want to send this message to your family members and let our staff pay attention to their whereabouts, it will cost you 36 gold coins!"
This amount was equal to his dad's three years' salary in the past. If it were before, Zhang Tie would definitely be scared by this figure. But now, although being high, it was still within his capacity. As long as he could relieve his parents' concern, everything he did was worth it.
Such long-distance remote communications tool was really not affordable to average people. Zhang Tie remembered the advanced level of human communications before the catastrophe when human beings had network technologies that he had read of in books in the private library. He then started to sigh inside. If it were sent before the catastrophe, such a message might be worth less than 1/10 of the price of a steamed bun. But times had changed.
"What other problems do you have?" the old man asked Zhang Tie.
"I want to know why Major Franca is wanted."
The old man then told him how the Iron-Horn Army intercepted the airship of Major Franca on the day of the beer festival and discovered that he was missing." The Northern Border Army of the Norman Empire firmly believe that Major Franca and his subordinates are related to the two missing soldiers of the No. 21 Division, so they delivered the order for arrest!"
’Vicious, really vicious!' This was Zhang Tie’s comment inside on Major Franca when he heard that the secret police who had followed him were poisoned to death. 'That guy must’ve known that if he was intercepted by the Norman-Horn Army’s airship, what awaited him would definitely be death. His subordinates were part of what he had done in Blapei, and under the harsh interrogation of the troop even an iron man would tell the truth, let alone those secret police!'
Additionally, the big conflict that he had set off in Blapei by his selfishness directly pushed the secret police in opposition of the Iron-Horn Army. This was definitely not what the big figures of Blapei wanted to see. Even if Franca returned, the higher ups of the secret police would also make a detailed investigation on this event. What waited for him there was also a severe punishment.
‘He’s too vicious! Perhaps when he was framing me, he had already sought for an opportunity to kill all of his subordinates for the sake of his safety.’
For an unknown secret that could make him unrivaled, for that possible outcome, that man had dared to be that decisive and vicious. Was it worth it?
The viciousness of that man chilled Zhang Tie. He knew that if he was in the position of Major Franca, he could definitely not be as vicious and decisive as the man had been..
That was the difference between people.
"I also want to know whether you can help me go to the Huaiyuan Palace in Jinyun Country. Do you provide this service?"
"Kalur is the most important traffic hub in this region. There's an airship moving from here to Jinyun Country every two months. At the moment, because of the war, many people are choosing to leave this region, so there's always no vacancy. The latest airship left Kalur yesterday. If you want a seat in an airship heading for Jinyun Country two months later, we can book it for you. You can first go to Jinyun Country by airship before transferring to the territory of Zhang clan by other airships."
"It takes two months to order a ticket?"
Zhang Tie was speechless. He didn't want to stay here for two more months. Perhaps before he left, he could stealthily go back to Blackhot City. He had some people he was worried about there. However, it would never take him two months to deal with his concerns in there. Even if he went there by train, it would only take him one week at most.
"Do you have any faster traffic means?"
"Yes, we have. You can rent an airship to Jinyun Country. But at the moment we cannot provide you such a service!"
"Why?" Zhang Tie asked, stunned.
"Because all the airships that were available in Kalur have been rented out by others. Although Golden Roc Bank could dispatch one airship here from another place, we only provide this service for our VIPs. As you are not our VIP, we cannot provide you with such a service!"
"What's the minimum standard to be your bank's VIP?"
"The minimum standard of yellow-level VIP is that you have to deposit over 500,000 gold coins in Golden Roc Bank!" the old man genially answered.
'500,000 gold coins? The minimum standard?'
Zhang Tie let out a sigh. This amount of money was equal to a hundred of his lives based on the compensation from Gregory clan on his value even at a premium. For most average people, one had to work for at least 40,000 years to make 500,000 golden coins.
'F*ck, this is the minimum standard for yellow-level VIP of Golden Roc Bank that only the nouveau riche like Gregory clan in Blackhot City might able to reach.'
Zhang Tie then instantly stopped his illusion of renting out an airship. Perhaps he could afford an airship flying from here to the Jinyun Country, but at this critical moment when the traffic resources were in urgent need, he was not qualified to request the Golden Roc Bank to dispatch an airship here just for him. The highest service the bank could provide for him was to order a ticket in an airship heading for Jinyun Country two months later.
Zhang Tie was considering whether to order such a ticket.
"Young man, would you like a suggestion from me?"
The information manager of the Golden Roc Bank stared at Zhang Tie with a pair of wise eyes.
"Go ahead please!"
"I feel that you don't need to be in such a hurry to go back at this moment!"
"Hehe, while you’re trying to go back, your relatives of Zhang clan in Jinyun Country might be trying to get you back. Although you look isolated now, actually, the situation is not as bad as you think. You've forgotten the most important point."
"What have I forgotten?"
"You forgot that although you are wanted, your back is an unrivaled clan. The Zhang clan of Huaiyuan Palace is not only a noble clan in Jinyun Country, but also a noble clan among all humans. For all generations, the heads of Huaiyuan Palace have inherited the noble peerage of humanity. The name of Count Changfeng is known across the Waii Sub-continent.
"If you are really a descendant of the Zhang clan of Huaiyuan Palace, then the Zhang clan will never allow you to be wanted in a foreign country. If you were really caught, Huaiyuan Palace would lose its face!"
Zhang Tie’s eyes popped out as he had not imagined that Zhang clan of Huaiyuan Palace was so great. The head of Huaiyuan Palace was Count Changfeng, who enjoyed a high reputation among other humans. Thinking of this, Zhang Tie immediately understood that all of his concerns were actually based on his former status and social standing. If he was a member of Huaiyuan Palace now...
"The head of the secret police is Baron Pompeii, who's also a hereditary noble of the Norman Empire. There are contradictions between Baron Pompeii of Secret Police and Lin Changjiang, the general of the Northern Border Army. Do you think that a baron would fight a count who's also a noble in order to arrest a small figure? If you haven't killed dozens of secret police in Blapei, you would not be wanted at all.
"The secret police did this to save their face. Otherwise, even the imperial households of the Norman Empire would not offend a count for a trivial affair, let alone a viscount of the Norman Empire. I dare to bet with you, as long as you don't run before the headquarters of the secret police to shout loudly that you are Zhang Tie, no secret police in the Norman Empire will dare to find you trouble!
Additionally, as you've left the Iron-Horn Army, perhaps the Iron-Horn Army will deal with your affair in a low-key manner. As long as you don't exclaim your wish to return to the Iron-Horn Army, there would be no problem."
Hearing the old man's words, Zhang Tie suddenly thought it through. It turned out that what he had been most concerned about was just a laughing matter as it was just what the big figures had arranged to the public for their own faces.
If he didn't have the sudden background of Huaiyuan Palace, that order for arrest would be true. With this background plus the conflict between him and the secret police being just a plot designed by Major Franca, it was more a polite eviction order to prevent him from staying in the Norman Empire than an order for arrest.
The Iron-Horn Army had acquiesced that this was the best compromise for the three parties after the order for arrest was released. At this moment, Zhang Tie was actually a transparent person in the Norman Empire that nobody dared to offend even if he was seen by others.
A person would usually experience many unexpected affairs in his life, but the worst case scenario that many people were most concerned with in their lives actually happened at a very low frequency. Zhang Tie's encounter verified this sentence once again. What he had never imagined happened, yet what he was most concerned about was just a dark joke.
Poor Major Franca!
Although Zhang Tie's order for arrest was fake, the one for Major Franca might be very true. Not only the military party of the Norman Empire, even the secret police system was silently searching for him. The trouble he had made in Blapei was really big this time.
'It was really a wise choice to enter the Golden Roc Bank this time,' Zhang Tie mumbled inside.
"I think as long as your parents receive your message, the people in Huaiyuan Palace will know that you are in Kalur; they will definitely contact you and ascertain the details of your pick with you!"
"How will they contact me?"
"Now that you can contact your family members through the Golden Roc Bank, you only need to stay in Kalur for a few more days. They can contact you through the Golden Roc Bank too!"
Zhang Tie suddenly felt bright inside and let out a long breath. He watched the old man sincerely and seriously said, "Thank you!"
"You're welcome, young man. According to the regulations of the bank, you need to pay for talking with me!" the old man said with a wink.
Zhang Tie burst out laughing loudly, "No problem, it's worth!"
"Then, how about 100 gold coins including the 36 gold coins for the message and my inquiry fee?"
"What else can I help you with?"
Zhang Tie scratched his head as he glanced at the ring of energy once again. "As I don't have that much money now, can I just mortgage my ring of energy here?"
"No problem!" The old man glanced at Zhang Tie. "If you want to mortgage this ring in our bank, we can present you with credit of 8000 gold coins. This time, the 100 gold coins would be included in your line of credit while its interest in our bank would be calculated by day until you redeem it.
"If you need money, there's a large-scale auction in the Sauls Auction House in Kalur City two days later. You can entrust us to give your ring to the Sauls Auction House for the upcoming auction. If it was sold by auction, the starting price would be above 10000 gold coins. It would be sold at a high price. To mortgage it or sell it by auction, it depends on you!"
Zhang Tie's heart raced.
"Yes, auction. The annual winter auction held by Sauls Auction House in Kalur is very famous across the Andaman Alliance!"
Ten minutes later, Zhang Tie left Golden Roc Bank. Unlike when he entered, when he left Golden Roc Bank, the bank arranged a vehicle to send him to Kalur City as Zhang Tie had decided to sell the ring of energy in an auction.
Although that rune equipment made of secret silver was rarely seen, for Zhang Tie, it was not as effective as simple and heavy gold coins. At this moment, seeing the numerous refugees in Kalur, hey realized that it was hard to even move without money.
As long as he had money in his pocket, even if the people in Huaiyuan Palace could not pick him up from here, he still had great resources and freedom of movement. He could go to Jinyun Country by himself. Additionally, Zhang Tie even prepared to slide back to Blackhot City after attending the auction in Kalur.
What was more, besides some eccentric items, there were some items that Zhang Tie was especially interested in, for instance, the large number of golden uangs which were prepared for alchemists...