110 – Either give money or…..!
Chapter 110: Either give money or..!
An important town in the outskirts, which is convenient for merchants from West Wind Kingdom to trade with desert nomads or other foreign nations. All goods shipped from the country are unloaded here for their business partners to collect. The safe and successful delivery of goods to Shimen Town is the job of escorting guards.
“A walk around Shimen Town, you will be wearing gold and silver, and drinking shark fin soup.”
The saying is enough to illustrate the volume of business transactions in Shimen Town and the amount of profits gained.
Shimen Town is an independent town in the middle of nowhere. It is isolated and stands alone in the desert.
Although it belongs to the West Wind Kingdom but it is neither managed nor protected by the Kingdom’s army. Businessmen from all around the world gather here so this isolated town remains a thriving and flourishing centre. There are people from all trades and crooks mixed in with the honest folk. It’s hard to imagine that the sleepy old man sitting in the corner was a serious criminal, and you certainly would not know that the smart boy strumming an abacus was a rapist—-
The entrance to Shimen Village is a giant stone arch formed from three simple boulders stacked together.
It is said that several hundred years ago General Lui Jian who was appointed to defend at the frontier region built the entrance. Lui Jian, being at the higher stage of the free clouds realm was assigned to stand guard at the frontier, and while he was there, enemies invaded the territory. Therefore, he slashed Qingming Mountain with his sword to retrieve three large stone to build a stone arch and said: if the enemy troops dare to take one step through, I will kill every one of them.
The desert cavalry saw the imposing atmosphere of this arch built from three simple boulders, which straddles the road at the entrance to the village, they hesitated many times and finally retreated in the end.
As a result, the entrance was named Shimen, and the small town of Shimen was established shortly after.
Today was not a good day; cold autumn wind blew across, whipping up dense clouds of dust and sand.
Between the layers of dust was a long convoy of carts struggling to advance.
The long convoy contained dozens of carts, it looked neither small nor big, but to the people of Shimen Town this was a common occurrence and did not looked like any big business.
However, what made their eyes widen in surprise was that only the goods and horses could seen in this convoy of dozen carts, and housekeepers, escort guards or staffs were nowhere in sight.
“What is going on? Why is there not a single person?”
“Hahaha, I have only seen human sellers, I have never seen horse merchants before—–Could it be the horses could charge money after it delivered the goods?”
“Must have stumbled into desert bandits on their way, and not one of them escaped—–wait but the bandits did not take the goods? Did they change their character? ”
The first horse pulled the convoy of carts through Shimen pass, then the train of dozens of carts, one after another, entered.
At the very back of convoy, a black horse bolted out.
Riding the horse was a young man wielding a sword, hastening to escort the convoy of carts of goods.
The young man has black hair and a dark face, and looked fatigued and worn out by the journey. His clothes were dirty and sweat stained.
Several men wanted to come closer and find out more but before they approached, they recoiled and looked aghast.
The stench of blood from the young man was overwhelming, the unbearable smell made them retch.
Li Muyang pulled on the reins of the leading horse, bringing the entire convoy of carts into Shimen Town’s Square.
His gaze swept around, ignoring other people’s widespread discussions and pointing, and hoarsely shouted: “Delivery from Wanli Escorting establishment, who’s here to collect it?”
Within the crowd, came a few men dressed in fur-lined robes with a fur hat tightly wrapped around their head.
They were riding on large horses, carrying bow and arrow and sabres; it was clear these people were nomads.
Led by a bearded man, they stared at Li Muyang warily, then the man asked aloud: “Who are you? Where are the guards of Wanli escorting establishment?”
“I’m Li Muyang, I’m a friend of the head of Wanli Gan Yang—–who are you?”
“This batch of medicine is what we want.” The bearded man replied in a deep, rumbling voice. “You’re a friend of Gan Yang, where is Gan Yang? Where are all the staffs? Without the documents, how do we handle this transaction?”
Li Muyang reached into his pockets, pulled out a piece of paper, saying: “I’ll give the goods to you and you give me the money. After both parties are satisfied then we will sign this contract—–I retrieved this from one of the staff.”
The bearded man glanced over at the contract, asking: “Where are they?”
“They died.” Li Muyang said.
“Killed by bandits.”
After listening to Li Muyang, a clamour of voice broke out from the crowd.
Some sympathised with Wanli Escorting Establishment and the guards, and some people condemned the savage act of the desert bandits.
The bearded man hesitated for a moment before he continued: “let me see the contract.”
Li Muyang passed over the contract.
The bearded men took the contract and tore it loudly in half.
“We won’t be doing this business.” The bearded man said. He was still smiling at Li Muyang. “People that we are not familiar with, we won’t do business with them, what happens if the goods are not as it is? What if the herbal ingredients you have are not good quality? If it’s like that, then how about you take it back with you—-”
Li Muyang looked at him blankly, waiting for him to finished talking.
As expected, he had more to say.
The bearded man was made uncomfortable by Li Muyang calm and collected face but he must finish what he was saying.
He looked at Li Muyang and said: “you said the escort guards of Manli were all killed by desert bandits, then who are you? How did you come here? How did you get the goods?”
“As I said, I’m a friend of Gan Yang.”
“Friends? You’re not a bandit, right?” The bearded-man said coldly.
As he spoke, everyone at Shimen Town Square slid their sword out of its sheath, ready to rush forth.
They are merchants; they depend on this Shimen Town Square to earn a living. If a desert bandit came here and cut off their road for earning money, they would certainly fight them with their lives.
Li Muyang’s expression remained indifferent and not in the slightest altered by the bearded man’s infuriation.
He took a quick glimpse at the paper torn to shreds on the ground before he said: “Just to earn a living, why did it end up like this? In order to send this cargo, the thirty-two men of Wanli died tragically, the six management staffs also died—-this is what they exchanged their life for? This is also the last time they could earn money for their family. You give me the money and I’ll give you the goods. What do you say?”
The bearded man was not swayed, he said in a cold voice: “I already told you, I won’t accept this order. Us, desert people value comradeship, I said I would trade with that person then I will trade with that person; I never go back on my words——What if you happen to be a bandit, you guys murder people and rob goods. What if you also take away our goods and money? How can I let my comrades down? How can I face the escort guards of Wan Li?”
“What do you want?” Li Muyang looked at him and asked.
“It should be what do you want.” The bearded said, his voice biting-cold: “The first option: you take the goods back. Where it is shipped from, you bring it back to them the same way. Or ship it back to your home, the desert bandits’ base. Second, you can give us the goods and we will agree on a different price——”
This was attempting to rip him off.
If he did as they said, deliver this batch of medicine back, then besides the many dangers along the way and whether he could stay alive, the number of breakage along the way is astronomical—–At that time, what will this batch of medicine be worth? Where would the money for the herbal ingredients come from? Where would the money for the escort guards come from?
As for give them the goods and negotiate a new price, that is the same as robbing the owner while his house is on fire.
They thought Li Muyang wouldn’t be able to bring this batch of medicine back so he must dispose of the goods at Shimen Town. Besides them, other businessmen would not come and steal the goods—–In that case he just need to give him a little money to send him away and take this large batch of goods off his hands? You know, herbal ingredients are valuable; if shipped to the town of Loulan it is worth hundred-fold more.
“What if I don’t agree with both of these two option?” Li Muyang said aloud.
The many companions of the bearded man burst into loud laughter. He looked at Li Muyang and asked: “what do you want to do?”
“Why do you have to force me? ” Li Muyang glanced to the sword strapped at his waist, muttering: “why do you have to force me? Those bandits forced me, so I killed them all. Now you’re forcing me—–”
Understand Heaven Sword flashed out of its sheath, its bright light sparking off the razor-sharp blade dazzled the eyes of everyone in the town square.
The bearded man’s face became overcast as he asked: “you said—– you killed all those bandits? ”
“Yes.” Li Muyang looked at the bearded man and replied. “I killed those bandits and their clansmen—–”
“You——–” The bearded man still did not believe him. Li Muyang is only a person, and he is so young too, even if he started training when he was an infant, is it possible for him to be that strong?
He is well aware of the ability of the bandits and the sheer number of bandits. Even if he was to just destroy a group of them, it would take a great deal of power.
“I don’t like to explain—–” Li Muyang raised his sword horizontally over his head, looking at the bearded man as he said: “either give me money or give me death.”
Guanzhong. Manli Escorting Establishment.
The old leader sat slumped on the floor, his arms wrapped around a large box of money, his eyes dull and filled with sadness, and his voice lacking strength: “No, no—–”
An old and small courtyard.
A woman was sitting on her bed sewing when she heard the sound of footsteps outside. A smile of happiness curved her lips. She cheerfully shouted: “Liangzhi, Liangzhi, you’re back——–”
After a long while, an unfamiliar voice replied: “I am not Liangzhi, I am Liangzhi’s friend——he’s working, he told me to give you something.”
Li Muyang walked over to the bed and placed a bag of gold coins in her hand.
“Liangzhi’s friend?” The woman looked at Li Muyang with a puzzled expression on her face, asking: “Where’s Liangzhi? Where did Liangzhi go?”
“He went to——–Jiangnan.” Li Muyang said, turning around, his voice hoarse and tears streaming down his face. His tall and straight figure scampering to the outside, as he said: “he said his father has been to Jiangnan, it is the most bustling and rich city he’s been to—–he and the entire team of guards travelled there to travel.”
“Liangzhi——–” The wailing of the woman’s anguished voice echoed throughout.