Chapter 497: A Trade
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
There’s solid wood that had a smooth and lustrous surface and would not rot for thousands of years, even without undergoing any special treatment. Along with it was plenty of shellfish in the coastal area that had toxic and inedible meat once the shell was plied open. However, it had this round, enormous, smooth orb that resembled the pearls on Earth within. Lastly, there are the organs of the beasts that would greatly benefit some male functions once ate it.
In the mainlanders’ eyes, all of these beautiful items in the Hellfire Archipelago were basically gold. Many of the usual things that were invaluable in the eyes of the Hellfire tribesmen were extremely precious in their eyes.
Someril stood before the door of a simple-looking bark house with a 300 square-area meter. When she did so, she told Luqi and his companions the fact that Zhang Lisheng was sympathetic to the misfortune that the merchant fleet had come across. Additionally, he planned to let them leave and would also be willing to ask the natives to give them some Hellfire Archipelago specialities to compensate for their fleets, most of the mainlanders in the bark house had their eyes lit up right away.
There were also a minority of them who were overcome with unnecessary worries. “Compensate us with some Hellfire specialties? Is this possible? We don’t want to anger them…” A middle-aged man who was wearing rug-like, filthy clothes fell into silence before expressing his concern with a bitter expression.
“So what if we anger them? We couldn’t leave anyway,” Antonio shouted loudly and interrupted the middle-aged man’s words. “It’s better than staying here, not knowing why those barbarians were feeding us instead of living a terrifying life. We might as well anger them and let them chop our heads off now.”
The courage that the grandson of the noble Sea Haines City’s city governor showed, which completely contradicted their wisdom, caused the female servants by the side to turn pale with fright. Not only that, but it also snapped Luqi, who was rooted in his thought, back into reality, “I believe the situation is not so terrible, Antonio. Since Mr. Lisheng can propose the Wizard Li people to compensate us, he must have a certain amount of confidence in doing so. Madam Someril, can you please bring me to Mr. Lisheng immediately?”
“Of course!” The Atlantean woman nodded and brought a few significant members of the mainland merchant fleet to Zhang Lisheng’s bark house.
Standing in front of the door while studying the surrounding, Luqi saw that the house had bright sunlight and huge windows facing the sea. With many whole animal skins on the ground, the munificent of the living environment of the young man made his uneasy feeling unconsciously ease.
He secretly took a deep breath. When he was about to speak, he was shocked to see a native rushing past him and kneeling in front of the black-haired young man not far away, before rambling on nonstop to him.
“Luqi, look! That dwarf actually kneeled to salute the black-haired fellow! It’s so strange… Do you think this person that we will meet is actually a spiritual monster who has transformed into a human?” When Luqi was trying to listen to what the kneeling Hellfire native was saying, Antonio suddenly whispered in his ears.
The grandson of the former Sea Haines City’s city governor thought that his voice was not loud. Still, the instant his words left his mouth, Zhang Lisheng immediately looked at him.
In this moment of life and death, Luqi could no longer endure his companion’s stupidity and howled in anger in a low voice, “Shut up, Antonio! Look properly! How does Mr. Lisheng resemble the Hellfire guardian spiritual monster at all? Madam Someril has said before that he obtained this distinguished position in the wizard Li tribe through sheer coincidence.”
Antonio, who had never been scolded before, grew stunned. When he was about to retaliate, he abruptly noticed that all of his companions were glaring at him. He was a dandy rich kid who was impulsive but was not a real fool. At once, he realized that even if a Wizard Li’s guardian spiritual monster transformed this black-haired young man, he should not have unmasked this information.
He swallowed the anger rising in his heart forcefully and lowered his head with a thoroughly flushed face without speaking anymore. Both of his hands clenched tightly. When he was secretly gnashing his teeth, he heard a calm voice resonating in his ears. “The Red Mountain Harbor’s headman has already agreed to my request and will let all of you leave tomorrow. They’ll also compensate for some Hellfire specialties, and it would mostly be a bunch of logs. Besides, if you’re willing to come to Scorpion Island for more trade, you should bring young and healthy slaves here. The Wizard Li tribe is willing to trade jewelry for that.”
The young man’s initial sentence immediately elicited a great unbelievable look of ecstasy from the mainlanders. When he had finished saying all of his good news, Luqi relaxed and took a few steps forward to bow deeply, “Thank you for your help, Mr. Lisheng. Once we return to the Sea Haines City, we’ll definitely thank you for your…”
“I’m an academe-obsessed sc. I don’t need your rewards, Mr. Luqi.” Zhang Lisheng shook his head and pointed at Someril, who was by his side. “If you want to repay us, you can repay Someril. If it wasn’t for her repeated request, I wouldn’t have bothered myself with this matter.”
“We’ll definitely repay Madam Someril, but you’re our benefactor.” Luqi pondered for a while before insisting. “Perhaps you still do not know the value of the Hellfire Archipelago logs in our Kattaman City State. Some of the tree species are even more expensive than silver. After selling them, I’m willing to give half of what I’m earning to you to repay your kindness. I think my merchant fleet’s companion will do the same thing as well.”
Luqi appeared like he’s very generous, but in reality, he was not making any sacrifices. Instead, he might achieve more significant benefits. When his companions remained stunned for a while, they snapped back to reality one after another and nodded ceaselessly.
“Mr. Luqi, my position in the Wizard Li tribe is still not high enough for me to let those native choresmen risk their lives to cut down those precious tree species far from their dwellings.” Looking at this group of mainlanders who had just regained their hopes of escaping danger and had immediately dreamed of making a fortune, Zhang Lisheng chuckled right away. “However, it shouldn’t be a problem for them to add some precious ores to compensate you. If you and your business partner are really willing to contribute half of the profits, then you can just give them to Madam Someril. She intends to follow your fleet to the Kattaman City State, and she’d always need some money.”
“Sure, Mr. Lisheng,” Luqi nodded hard. “Then, can you please tell us more about the slave trade?”
“Human trafficking is a trade that violates my moral standards,” the young man sighed. “But since the Red Mountain Harbor’s headman has specifically mentioned this, I have no choice but to relay it to you. The Wizard Li people intend to buy some mainlanders slaves as their choresmen to show off their power to the surrounding Hellfire tribes. They said that your ancestors have once brought some slaves to sell before through their fleet several decades ago…”
While Zhang Lisheng was speaking, he shifted his gaze to Antonio. “Judging the time, it should be the merchant fleet of Mr. Antonio’s grandfather. If they plan to trade with you again, then it would be better.”
No matter how low the status of the slaves was, they were still mainlanders. Selling their own kinds to the barbarians in a primitive land was a terrible crime. However, Luqi had a different point of view regarding this kind of trade compared to others.
After a moment of ponderation, he immediately replied, “They want strong young mainland slaves? This is easy. The central and eastern regions of the Green Leaf Mainland have been in constant chaos for decades, and there are many free prisoners of war, but the price…”
“A thumb-sized jewelry from the shellfish in exchange for 50 slaves… If you bring me a full fleet of slaves, then we will fill your ship with wood from the island.” Zhang Lisheng said casually.
“This is a really crazy price, Mr. Lisheng!” Luqi seemed to know the value of a vast and clean Hellfire pearl. His breathing grew rapid thereafter.
“Is that so?” The young man chuckled. With a flick of his eyes, he added, “You can also introduce other merchant fleets to bring slaves to the Red Mountain Harbor. I’ll give you one Hellfire pearl for every 300.”
Transporting the goods personally and extracting benefits from other people’s products was the difference between a retailer and a wholesaler. The mainlanders in the treehouse who have initially been criticizing Luqi under their breaths widened their eyes. Saban, the flagship captain of the merchant fleet who knew the sailing route the most, unconsciously blurted out. “How would the Wizard Li people promise that they would trade according to these conditions?”
“The natives will not promise you anything, but I can help you…” Zhang Lisheng smiled. “Of course, nobody can guarantee this. It’s up to you if you want to believe me or not…”
“Of course, we believe you. We do…” Upon hearing the young man’s reply, the mainlanders replied in unison. When Zhang Lisheng saw that they had become laden with worries, he secretly smiled in satisfaction. He then said a few more words before dismissing these greedy people from his bark house.
On that night, the young man told the native choresmen to prepare a very sumptuous dinner and bid farewell to the other Shrimp World No. 2 explorers. Since he would yield a better result for the explorers who were staying behind on Scorpion Island, nobody commented anything about Zhang Lisheng’s plan to stay. It was only Allison who seemed to be somewhat dispirited.
The next day at noon, amid the warm spring breeze, the merchant fleet that was filled with mainlanders sailed and rode the waves to leave the tail of the giant scorpion in the Hellfire sea region. The then headed the distance.
Zhang Lisheng stayed still as he stood on the coast while watching Someril, Allison, Luqi, and all other people who were ardently waving at them disappear into the distance through the telescope. Even until the fleet had been reduced to the size of beans, Zhang Lisheng waited for over ten minutes, unmoving. Finally, he breathed a long sigh of relief. He casually clipped the telescope by his waist as he muttered, “They finally left…”
At that moment, when the young man retrieved the telescope, under the Red Mountain Harbor’s headman guidance, the chiefs suddenly shouted out loud. “All tribesmen, gather around and board the ship! All tribesmen, gather around and board the ship…”
Without reason, they began to gather tens of thousands of ordinary tribesmen whom they had just converted to Wizard Li. They drove them up the fishing boats in the harbor.
“Pundit, Headman Slusa told us to board the ship,” The choresman who had just been assigned to serve Zhang Lisheng yesterday was mixed in the crowd. He hurriedly ran to the beach and kneeled at the young man’s feet before saying.
“No, we’ll stay on the shore,” Zhang Lisheng casually replied. He raised a hand to shelter his face from the sun as he looked up at the red sun. A relaxed smile was tugging at the corner of his mouth.