Chapter 843: Trial
The day to meet up had finally come.
Zhang Heng was not the only one who received the invitation. On this day, all the high-level leaders of all the big and small gangs were there. In the morning, almost not a single soul hung around in the nearby streets. Instead, a group of fierce-looking strong men guarded the tavern and took control of the two streets nearby them.
Regardless of the size of their gang, the invited person could only bring two subordinates to the meeting. By doing that, they could prevent someone from taking this opportunity to make trouble. The mixed settlement of Jews and other foreigners in the southeastern part of Rome had been filled with chaos since Hadrian’s time. Thieves, assassins, robbers, and villains loitered around, and they were unregulated by the law.
Most of the time, they were more accustomed to dealing with their problems using their fists. After all, this was a world where the strong preyed on the weak. At times, however, they would actually talk it out if they thought a war was not worthwhile. Most of the time, a negotiation would only involve a maximum of two to three parties. On the other hand, a negotiation led by one of three major forces would only happen once in six or seven years.
When everyone was summoned to this meeting, it could mean that a major event had taken place and had affected the vast majority of the forces. This time was no exception. Everyone who received an invitation knew the purpose of this gathering.
Many of them were waiting to see Zhang Heng and his patrol team unfold the drama before them.
Many, especially the small forces bullied by the patrol team, looked forward to returning to the good old days. They hoped the big forces could uphold justice for them, wanting them to restrain the patrol team and stop the patrol team from doing anything wrong. It would be perfect if they could make the patrol team return to their previous state.
Among them, one person showed the most eagerness. His eyes were filled with hatred. Everyone here knew about him. He was the medium-sized gang that was beaten up by the patrol team recently. The unlucky boss’s nickname was Copper Arm.
After being defeated by the patrol team, he immediately ran to the Jewish’s turf. The Jews had occupied the southeast part of this area. And at the same time, the most powerful gang in this region belonged to the Jews. With the largest number of members, they controlled almost half of the business in this area. Under normal circumstances, the Jewish gangs never interfered with the affairs of the smaller forces.
Considering the criminally rich environment in this place, there was never a shortage of the brave. The replacement of the bottom forces and turf battles was a common occurrence that happened almost every day. As long as the new successor could continue handing in money to the higher forces, they would not care who helped them manage their businesses.
Bronze Arm’s status in this place was somewhat. A member of the Jewish gang, he dabbled in the money lending business in an underground arena belonging to the Jewish gang. He used this relationship to get to know a lot of underground gladiators who could fight well. After that, when he came across a golden opportunity to form his gang, he did it without hesitation. Since the Jewish gang backed him, he managed to grow his gang extremely fast. Within two years, he became a well-known medium-sized gang.
But just five days ago, his good days came to an end. Before he could figure out what had happened, he was told that one of his members was involved in beating up a patrol. After that, Zhang Heng had raided his turf, using the excuse of him refusing to hand over the accomplice. When Copper Arm saw that the situation had gone sour, he decided to hand over the person responsible. However, he found out that the person was gone. In the end, he did not even get a chance to surrender to Zhang Heng. It caused him to lose his turf. And after that, he only managed to recruit less than twenty people.
In just one night, he lost everything and returned to the period where he had nothing. Bronze Arm had to ask the Jewish gang to help him this time. He thought that the three major forces would punish Zhang Heng and the patrol team during the gathering in the afternoon later. But this wasn’t the Basilica Julia, and they were not about to follow Roman law. The three major forces were the ones who set the rules of this place.
To Bronze Arm, Zhang Heng wouldn’t be walking out of the tavern alive this time.
It was almost time for everyone to gather at the tavern, but Zhang Heng still hadn’t shown up. Soap and his men were close to the last ones to arrive. This time, he did not bring his best friend, Skinny Money. Instead, he brought two burly men with him.
But even so, Soap still felt a little guilty. Since he was a child, he had heard of the Jewish gang, and his previous dream was to join them as a member. If he managed to achieve his dream, he would no longer need to live under the Copper Arm’s control anymore. And now, not only did he not get to join the Jewish gang, but he had also become their enemy.
Fate really was amazing sometimes.
When Soap walked into the tavern with his men, the way the others gave him looks filled with hostility. It was no secret that Soap and the patrol team were very close. When the two sides first cooperated, they used this relationship to take down many small forces, the reason why a new-rising force like him could grow so quickly.
And the price he had to pay was to be poorly treated by other forces. When Soap walked into the tavern, he kept hearing the word “traitor” being thrown around. Some people even swore right in front of him. After all, he was only a thief. Although he performed relatively well some time ago and started to feel that he was slowly becoming a true boss, many here still had more influence and bigger territories than him.
When he saw that everyone was staring at him, it was inevitable that he started to fear his life. And his biggest backup, the patrol team, was not here yet. Even if they were here, they might not be able to protect him if a fight broke out.
After Soap received the invitation, the first thing he did was run to Zhang Heng and ask him what he planned to do. However, the only thing Zhang Heng told him was not to worry.
But how could he not be worried? They were now facing all the forces in the southeast city, united to strike at them. Soap could not figure out how Zhang Heng would neutralize a huge threat like this. Fortunately, his worries were not reflected in his expressions.
Soap might not make him look calm, but he could at least a straight face. He did not have the guts to fight with the people that swore at him, so he went to a secluded corner with his subordinates and sat down.
After waiting for a while, almost everyone had arrived, except for Zhang Heng and the patrol team.
Soap saw a middle-aged Jew walking downstairs. He wasn’t of low status in the Jewish gang, and he was also the person in charge of this meeting. He then walked towards Soap and spoke.
“Is it so difficult to invite the people from the patrol team to come here? All the older and more powerful gangsters have arrived early. Only they have not appeared yet. Are they trying to make Mr. Lockeed wait for them?”