In Ji Hao’s garden, tens of thousands of specially crafted beast oil torches floated in midair. Around the garden, a troop of flying bear knights, who were sent over by Si Wen Ming as emergency reinforcements, mounted on their fierce-looking flying bears, expressionlessly guarding the whole area.
Earlier this day, over six-hundred-thousand people from Iron Tiger Clan and Gale Fox Clan launched a sudden attack on the storehouse area in Ji Hao’s garden, and nearly broke the defense of that area. But at the moment, these people kneeled on the ground side by side, all with pale faces, and some even shaking with fear.
Occasionally, cries of babies were heard from amongst the crowd of people, but soon turned muffled and unclear. Apparently, their parents covered their mouths and stopped them from crying out loud.
Earlier, some children stood up, crying and yelling because they couldn’t stand the pain in their knees which was caused by the long-time kneeling anymore. Ji Hao dealt with those children in a simple way. All their direct relatives were hung up upside down, each suffering a hundred lashes delivered by dragon-skin whips, until their bones and tendons were broken, and were almost beaten to death.
As for those noisy children, the each suffered one lash, and all fainted immediately.
Witnessing all these, which one from Iron Tiger Clan or Gale Fox Clan dared to let their children cry again?
Tens of stoves were burning glowing red. Stuck in each stove, were over a hundred searing iron sticks. A group of strong Jia Clan warriors bared their upper bodies, standing around those stoves, each with a glowing red searing iron stick grabbed in one hand. With vicious grins, these Jia Clan warriors heavily pressed the ends of those searing iron sticks on the faces of those people knelt by their feet.
Sizzling noises could be heard without an end. Those who had the brand of slave seared on their faces cried and wailed heartbreakingly.
Ji Hao stood on a hill, watching all this, A few elderly people raised their arms while crying, begging Ji Hao with hoarse voices, "Earl Yao, where is your mercy? We are human beings too, we are human beings too! Where is your mercy?"
Ji Hao coldly looked at these crying old people. His voice was not loud, yet it reached to every corner of the garden, and allowed every single person lived in his garden to hear clearly.
"Am I not merciful enough? I gave you my palace, my garden… You lost your homes, so I let you live in mine."
"Am I not merciful enough? I gave you my food, I fed all of you because you had lost all your food."
"Am I not merciful enough? You are ungrateful, you attacked my people and killed three-hundred seventy-eight of my Yao Mountain people. You severely wounded six-thousand, eight-hundred and fifty-three, slightly wounded forty-two-thousand, three-hundred and thirty-five…I didn’t cut your heads off and only enslaved you… Am I not merciful enough?"
"You’re the heartless ones. You live on my land, eat my food, but still attacked those who were loyal to me and attempted to rob me! Where are your hearts?"
The garden had fallen into a deathly silence. In the air, flying bear knights had been patrolling in groups. Even if some of these refugees still had different thoughts, facing the strong military force from You Chong Clan, they had to bury all those unkind thoughts deep in their hearts.
People from Iron Tiger Clan and Gale Fox Clan were silently shedding tears, some of them quietly gnashing their teeth in hatred.
Some believed that they were top-grade powerful warriors, as they sneakily looked around, with fierceness showing in their eyes from time to time.
Ji Hao had all these people covered in his spirit power. Every micro-expression of every single one of these people was exposed under his eyes.
Seeing those warriors showing fierceness in their sparkling eyes, Ji Hao sneered scornfully.
Human beings were facing a disaster. Ji Hao wasn’t too softhearted to kill, he just didn’t want to start a massacre in such a bad situation. If he killed all these people, the humankind might be weakened, and people’s sense of safety would be reduced further.
If these people from the Iron Tiger Clan and Gale Fox Clan behaved themselves, settled their hearts down and became slaves obediently, Ji Hao would forgive them. But if they had any other unkind motives, they better not blame Ji Hao for having no mercy.
Waving his slaves, Ji Hao left with his people.
Jia Clan warriors laughed viciously, grabbed those Iron Tiger Clan and Gale Fox Clan people and raised the glowing red, searing iron sticks, searing the brand of shame on their faces heavily and mercilessly. A strong scent of scorching flesh spread out in the air. Seeing Ji Hao leave, many Iron Tiger Clan and Gale Fox Clan people began crying again in low voices.
Ji Hao’s entire property was now occupied by refugees, and he only saved himself a small house in the woods.
Sitting in the house, Ji Hao nodded to Li Shen, who was nearly burned to death earlier this day, then said in a deep voice, "What happened out there. How did it happen exactly?"
Li Shen glanced at Ji Hao with both respect and fear, then hurriedly explained everything to him.
When the water-sealing formation collapsed, government forces in Pu Ban City had been trying their best to save people of the human clans near Pu Ban City. Countless people were sent to Pu Ban City. At that time, the city was crowded by people, and so was Ji Hao’s palace and garden.
However, Ji Hao never lived long in this place. He only left thousands of servants in this place to carry out the daily maintenance. When large numbers of people crowded into this place, Shaosi sent Li Shen over from Yao Mountain City to take care of those refugees.
At first, things went quite well. Each day, Li Shen would take the grain out of the barns, make porridge, and distribute to those refugees. Nevertheless, more and more people came into this place, and the pressure on the grain reserve grew heavier and heavier. Therefore, the portion of food Li Shen distributed to each refugee each day had been turning smaller and smaller.
For this reason, rumors started spreading among those refugees living in Ji Hao’s place that the entire Pu Ban City had a food shortage, and soon, everyone would starve to death.
Once the rumors emerged, things became different. Those small clans were still fine. They weren’t so powerful, and they always stuck by rules. Therefore, those people didn’t have any different thoughts.
Iron Tiger Clan and Gale Fox Clan were equally powerful mid-scale clans. Together, they had around a, hundred-thousand warriors. These two clans were used to bullying small clans with violence. Having heard that the food was not enough, they immediately put their thoughts into actions.
"They attempted to rob the food in the store." said Ji Hao coldly, "Hmm, good idea…But, the food reserves in Pu Ban City…Do we really have a food shortage?"
Shaosi took out a scroll and skimmed through the records in it, then sighed slightly and said, "We don’t know about the general situation in Pu Ban City, but based on the number of people living in our place, the food we stored in here can last a month at max."
Shaosi raised her head and looked at Ji Hao, showing a complicated expression with her clear eyes, "It’s really hard to be starving…But, Yao Mountain City is our base, and the most of our food is stored in there. Under the current situation, we can’t deliver the food here from Yao Mountain City."
Before Ji Hao said anything, Shaosi continued, "Based on the current situation of Yao Mountain City, the food reserve can support all our people for three years. But if…if we decide to shoulder the food supply for these refugees, we will be dragged down in one month at most."
Ji Hao remained silent. His heart was as cold as ice.