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Chapter - 50: Aftermath
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A cloud of black smoke floated over Little Meng City. All the trading companies and mansions had been raided by the City Guards. A massive amount of gold, silver, and jewelry was piling up on the drill grounds of the City Guards. Laohei was equally distributed this wealth according to the number of soldiers. No matter whether it was a deputy General, a Lieutenant, or even a Captain or soldier, all of them got an equal share of this gold, silver, and jewelry. There were heavy golden pearls, silver ingots, branches of copper coins, smooth and sparkling pearls, bright shining gemstones, expensive leathers and silk, rare herbs, and energy stones. A dozen experienced barbarian hunters and herb harvesters were estimating the value of these treasures on the spot, and had them distributed equally. All the military officials and soldiers were holding onto big piles of wealth, which they could never earn, even if they worked hard until they died. Their eyes had turned red and they staring at Lu Chengfeng while continuously cheering ‘Hooray’. Cheers of ‘Hail the master!’ resounded throughout the city, as these twenty-eight thousand soldiers felt their spirits, blood, and energy were boiling to the extreme. Right at this moment, even if it was the king of the Lu Kingdom standing in front of them, if Lu Chengfeng asked them to, these crazy soldiers would rip him into pieces. Wu Qi was leading a group of soldiers and quickly collecting all the dead bodies scattered across the city. He was dumping them into the woods outside Little Meng City. It would only take one night for animals to eat these thousands of dead bodies. Most likely, there probably wouldn’t even be a single hair left, after the animals were finished. The few hundred tradesmen who were doing their business in Little Meng City were slaughtered by these crazy City Guards. Not a single one of them survived the purge. From Liu Zhong’s dead body, they found the paper signed by all these tradesmen. All of them were standing on the opposite side with Lu Chengfeng, and they had all agreed to accuse Lu Chengfeng, under the lead of Liu Zhong. Watching the carts of dead bodies be pushed out of the city, Wu Qi put his palms together and recited a few ‘Amitabha’ - (A celestial buddha described in the scriptures of Mahāyāna Buddhism), - without any sincerity. “Please enter into your next life as soon as possible. Don’t linger in this world and become a foul soul. Your life had ended, in your next life, fight to live a happy life!” Zhang Hu, who was standing beside him, gave Wu Qi a questioning look, “Brother Wu Qi, what does ‘Amitabha’ mean?” Wu Qi stared back at Zhang Hu with a curious look. Maybe the people of this world didn’t know the meaning of ‘Amitabha’? Wu Qi blinked his eyes, then he explained to Zhang Hu, in a serious tone, “It’s nothing special, it is just one of my favorite catchphrase. It is like saying, ‘fuck your mother!’.” Zhang Hu felt enlightened and nodded his head. Then he turned around and looked at those dead bodies. With a hideous smile on his face, he yelled out, “Amitabha!” It took two more days for all the flames in Little Meng City to be put out. All the wealthy tradesmen in the city, together with their servants and personal guards, were slaughtered. All the personal guards of Liu Suifeng were also killed. The City wall of Little Meng City had dozens of breaches, which were caused by Wu Qi and his men during the siege. Crude weapons and armors were scattered all over the place. The storage room of Barbarian Office was opened up, and all the barbarian heads, which had been turned in by Meng Village and the barbarian hunters not long ago, were taken out from it. After being treated with herbs for many days, these dried up, nearly skeletal, heads were hung up on the City Gate, serving as the evidence for barbarian’s attack. As for why these barbarian heads had become so dried up in just two days, Wu Qi didn’t make any explanation on this, and there were no townsfolk who were so stupid as to ask Wu Qi about this issue. Anyway, Little Meng City was, once again, attacked by barbarians, and the city wall was breached. All the personal guards of Marquis Liu Suifeng had been killed, wealthy tradesmen were robbed of everything they owned. Also, all the storage rooms of Little Meng City were robbed. The warning letter written by Lu Chengfeng had been dispatched with the ‘fastest horse’. It should reach the capital in about two or three months. As for whether Liu Suifeng’s bones could be used to make soup after two or three months, Wu Qi didn’t raise this topic and Lu Chengfeng also didn’t think about it. With this two to three month buffer, they would have time to cover all their tracks. In the process, when Liu Zhong laid out the traps to frame Lu Chengfeng, all those previous City Guards officials conspired together with him. Therefore all of them were killed, together with their families. Also, all the government officials of Little Meng City, whether they had been forced or attracted by the lucrative promises of Liu Zhong, had signed their names on the document filled with accusations. Thus all of them were killed by barbarians too. The vacated positions were replaced by Lu Chengfeng’s newly recruited warriors. In just three days, all the authority in Little Meng City had fallen back into the hand of Lu Chengfeng, and all the government officials were controlled by him. All twenty-eight thousand City Guards were now officially stationed within Little Meng City. Eight thousand of them were the City Guards of Little Meng City; Twelve thousand became the personal guards of Lu Chengfeng, and were stationed within the Mayor’s Mansion, and the last eight thousand soldiers had their identity transformed. Under the lead of one of Zhang Hu’s best friends, they established a troop of barbarian hunters. A barbarian hunters’ troop of eight thousand men. This might be the largest barbarian hunter troop in the history of this world. No matter it was the right-hand men of Lu Chengfeng or all twenty-eight thousand soldiers of City Guards, all of them were satisfied with the gold, silver, and jewelry that Lu Chengfeng had given them. At the same time, these men had their hand stained with the blood of wealthy tradesmen, ex-officials of the City Guards, and all the previous batch of government officials. Their lives were now connected to Lu Chengfeng. Therefore, they had no choice but to pledge their loyalty to Lu Chengfeng. Three days after the ‘barbarian siege’, Laohei lead a group of workers and began the restoration of the city wall. On the other side, Lu Chengfeng had called all the local leaders and elders to have a meeting in Mayor’s Mansion. Even some of the elders from Meng Village were invited. A long table was placed right in the middle of the main hall. Lu Chengfeng was sitting on one side of the table, wearing in a luxurious rope and staring at all the local leaders and elders, who were sitting in front of him. Although the power and influence of these elders and leaders of local clans couldn’t compare to that of those wealthy tradesmen who came from outside Little Meng City, they represented all the native people in and around Little Meng City. These people represented those who truly lived here. Wu Qi glanced at all the people in the hall. With a bright smile on his face, he placed a document on the table in front of these men. “Clan leaders and elders, according to my young master, Little Meng City had suffered a great loss this time. Every year, the trades between Little Meng City and outside world should have brought us an enormous amount of profits! But all the while, this huge amount of money has been stolen away by those outsiders!” Clearing his throat, Wu Qi gazed at all the leaders, who had an odd expressions on their faces. He let out a sigh and said, “You are all natives of Little Meng City. Your families had been living here for more than few hundred years. But, what did you get during the past few hundred years? At most, you have a restaurant or hotel. You have girls from your clan becoming prostitutes in exchange for some wealth, or your peoples have become barbarian hunters and herb harvesters, hunters and miners, risking their lives in Meng Mountain in exchange for some pennies.” “But, as for those wealthy tradesmen from outside Little Meng City, they took all the hard-earned treasures, which your peoples gathered, and, as long as they sent them outside of Little Meng City, they would be able to make a huge amount of money, equal to that of dozens of years of spending for your peoples. They gave you few copper coins with their left hand, but in their right hand they held a few gold ingots. They were squeezing you dry, all this while, and all of you, as the true owners of Little Meng City, could do nothing about it!” One of the elders from Meng Village stood up and bowed toward Wu Qi, saying, “Little brother Wu Qi, you are a friend of Meng Village. Tell me, what exactly does young master Lu wants us to do and we will do it!” Wu Qi smiled and took a few steps back, standing beside Lu Chengfeng. Lu Chengfeng placed both hands on the table and leaned his body over the table. With a low, but powerful voice, he said, “All the native clans of Little Meng City, I need you to submit under me from today on. I will make sure that all your future generations will live a prosperous life. From today onwards, all the clans will form a union, the trade union of Little Meng City, which will completely control the trade of all mountain treasures.” Slamming on the table, Lu Chengfeng continued his speech, “Starting today, the fat meat of Meng Mountain will be ours! All of you will be able to live in luxury, enjoying fine wines and pretty women. You can enjoy the glorious lifestyle every single day, and you can walk proudly across the street. This is what I can promise you: as long as all of you sign the paper and pledge your loyalty to me and to the trade union of Little Meng City, we will have no problem in sharing the wealth with you.” Right after Lu Cengfeng spoke, Wu Qi let out a mile cough and said, “Oh, I suppose all of you know this, but just two days ago, those barbarians, once again, attacked Little Meng City and caused huge casualties. Who knows? It’s possible that a few days from now, those barbarians will come back again. There might be some here that are unlucky that they are beyond my ability to save them!” This was an obvious threat. Everyone here knew that, if they didn’t sign the paper and pledge their loyalty to Lu Chengfeng, they, and their entire families, would probably die. Right now, there were more than twenty thousand ‘barbarian soldiers’ who were waiting eagerly to kill people and seize their wealth. The elders from Meng Village quickly and easily made up their minds and they stood up, bit their thumbs, and then pressed their bloody thumbs on the paper. These elders could still write a few words, and they did their best to sign their names on the paper. With the example set by Meng Village, none of the clan leaders dared to challenge Lu Chengfeng. All of them quickly pressed bloody thumbs to the paper and signed their names on it. Lu Chengfeng let out a triumphant laugh, then waved his hands and said, “Serve the wine! Let’s celebrate this moment with all clan leaders and elders!” Wu Qi was clapping his hands and laughing, saying, “Perfect, from now on, we are a family! Everybody, Wu Qi wishes you all a prosperous business and that your wealth will flourish, letting your families grow and knowing that you have a great future!” A serving lady of Lu Chengfeng came with a tray full of wine bowls and served everyone bowls of fine wine. Laughter and cheering filled the atmosphere, and the fragrance of the wine filled the air. Everyone drank the toast and, lead by Wu Qi, they smashed their wine bowls on the floor. The scene looked like that of a leader of bandits distributing his share of wealth, and having all the men working for him become his brothers. That same night, with the restless effort of Wu Qi, Lu Quyuan was crying his lungs out and, in order to pledge his loyalty to Lu Chengfeng, he signed on a paper of collaboration that, if he leaked out what had happened here, would be enough to make him and his father fall into the abyss of despicable crimes. With this paper in hand, the sixth son of Lu Family had finally boarded Lu Chengfeng’s ship. Little Meng City had completely become Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng’s kingdom. Translated by XianXiaWorld

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