Cthulhu Gonfalon - Chapter 25
Chapter 25: Chapter 25
Translator: Nyoi_Bo_Studio Editor: Nyoi_Bo_Studio
Gerrard was running faster than a horse, and it only took him half an hour to catch up with the marching commercial corp.
When he threw the bodies of the leader Ruhr and the vice leader Burke on the truck, everyone yelled with great enjoyment.
The businessmen were both shocked and happy, and they examined the two bodies carefully to make sure their identities were true. Some of them even took out the copied reward papers, and compared the two dead men with the portraits!
Yes, these two dirty and ugly Orcs were exactly the cruel and cunning leaders of the criminal gang that led a huge number of bandits, and had plagued the four villages in the northwest all these years, attacking the villagers and businessmen.
The Cavalry of Orcs and Wolves had been destroyed!
The businessmen were as cheerful as a group of larks. They stood in a circle and conveyed their gratitude to Gerrard, who was standing in the middle of the circle. Later, they pooled together a great amount of money as a gift to Gerrard.
Of course, Sui Xiong did not want to take this money, because he thought that it was only natural to wipe out the whole gang. Besides, it was the Orcs that formed a group to ambush him in the first place. He did not understand why these businessmen gave him money. To be honest, if Sui Xiong wanted to receive money, he would just go to the town and get the reward from the Association of Thieves.
But this time he was persuaded by Gerrard. Gerrard told him that in the civilized world, it was a perfectly justified thing for the businessmen to give him a reward when he had wiped out the bandits. If he did not receive the money, they would be unhappy. Sui Xiong was not a stubborn fuddy-duddy, so he would not refuse to the money he earned legally.
There was more than one benefit besides receiving money. Many valuable spoils of war were found with the two dead bodies. Since the two were frightened to death, they did not have the chance to use the objects they took with them. These objects were all intact. Take the magic leather armor and Bloody Hands’ magic machete, for example; they were worth as much as a month’s salary for a normal businessman.
Not to mention the other objects. For example, in the Space Pocket owned by Ruhr, there was nothing but some money and potions. He had changed all his money for various outfits, so he could increase his combat effectiveness. But inside the space pocket of the old Shaman, there were more than one thousand gold coins, all kinds of gemstones, and many advanced potions and scrolls.
Old Soth believed that the objects in the two space pockets, the outfits of the two Orcs, and the reward they were entitled to, were worth over 20,000 gold coins.
20,000 gold coins! When hearing the number, Gerrard was totally stunned.
Think of it this way: the villagers in the White Leaves Village made their living by felling and burning bark, as well as planting the Golden Vine. The vine did not taste good, but it could be used to resist negative energy, and was the staple food of the residents in the Ashes Forest. An average family could only save three to five, or six to seven gold coins in a whole year. On top of that, they had to hand in at least seventy percent of their income to the Church of the God Wu Mian to pay tax. This left them with only one or two gold coins.
“Wait, seventy percent of their income is taxed? This is too cruel!” Sui Xiong exclaimed. “Why haven’t those villagers rebelled!?”
“Your Majesty, the tax is not heavy at all.” Gerrard looked surprised, and began to explain. “The church collects their tax on the condition that the farmers have enough food to eat. In other words, they collect their tax from surplus. The Lords did not care if the farmers had money or not.
Sui Xiong now realized he was wrong. Obviously, no one would want to live in a village where skeletons would appear at night if his basic needs were not met.
As it was written in the story of the snake catcher (by the Chinese thinker Liu Zongyuan), although catching a serpent was dangerous business, it was much better than being heavily taxed, or becoming a serf!
No matter where we go, the government order is sometimes more terrifying than a tiger! Sui Xiong thought, and sighed deeply.
Gerrard had no idea what Sui Xiong was thinking, and said, “The whole White Leaves Village could save up to 200 gold coins in taxation per year; the 20,000 gold coins were worth the taxation of 100 years. Or think of it this way: when I was still an adventurer, the team I was in could save, at most, 1,000 gold coins. And that was while everyone in that team was very strong and competent. We were a very good team.
“Your Majesty, we can receive 5,000 gold coins or less by killing the evil dragon; around 1,000 gold coins by killing a criminal who murdered an aristocracy; and about 2,000 gold coins by wiping out the famous gang of bandits, the Cavalry of Orcs and Wolves. So you can really feel that the 20,000 gold coins is really a big sum of money!”
Sui Xiong nodded, finally having a grasp on the value of the 20,000 gold coins.
“We can build a temple with the money. Your Majesty, I think we should find a village and make that village our follower. Although it is just one village, we do not need to take any risks, and it is quite safe. And two years later, when the village is under good control, we can begin to search for more villages and make the people there our followers. Then we can even build a town…” Gerrard’s imagination was flying. “After a century or two, we can own few towns, over ten villages, and thousands of faithful followers, at the very least.”
Sui Xiong did not show his approval or disapproval of Gerrard’s suggestion. He thought that Gerrard was thinking far too much. Even the Chinese, who always talked about China’s ‘Two Centenaries,’ were just killing time by mentioning the project. No one could really made a plan for the next one or two centuries and try to execute it.
But on second thought, Sui Xiong began to see the sense of Gerrard’s wild imagination.
Both Sui Xiong and Gerrard were immortal. For them, a century or two was not that long. They may only need to see a few more winters and summers to see the leaves sprouting in the spring and falling in the autumn, or to see a villager living his whole life.
Being immortal was not fantasy in this world, but reality.
“Your Majesty, what do you think of the plan?” Gerrard asked.
Sui Xiong laughed and said, “There is no hurry. I’ll wait until I know more about this world.”
“Okay; the intelligence of a God is far superior to that of a human. I firmly believe that you will think of a better plan soon, and build and improve the faith system that belongs only to you.” Gerrard nodded faithfully. “Still, I think it is quite safe to turn some villages into our own…”
Sui Xiong began communicating with Gerrard through telepathy.
Seeing Gerrard standing still and thinking, Old Soth could not help saying, “Brother White, we are not done yet. There is a big sum of money awaiting you!”
Old Soth managed to distract Gerrard from the conversation, which was a great relief to Sui Xiong. The topic changed from the establishment of the village to receiving the money.
“Normally speaking, the leader of a certain gang of bandits would have a place where they hide their treasure, so they can bounce back after they have a setback, or live out their life in retirement with the money. The Cavalry of Orcs and Wolves have been plaguing the four towns in the northwest in the last five or six years, and their leader “Bloody Hands” definitely has a place to hide the treasure,” Old Soth said. “If we can find that place, we can absolutely get a big fortune!”
Talking of a big fortune, Old Soth’s face lit up, as did his eyes, which had become dim due to his age.
Sui Xiong finally knew why the Old Soth would call his commercial corps his ‘lucky gold coin.’ He was totally a money-grubber!
“How much money are we talking about?” Palin asked in curiosity.
“At least 10,000 gold coins!” Old Soth gave an astute answer. This had made Sui Xiong feel curious about how he made this conclusion.
Obviously, Palin was neither interested in or surprised by the money, since he had 20,000 gold coins. He nodded casually, went back to the campfire, and began to read his magic book.
Gerrard nodded. “That sounds good. I will try to find it.”
“If you do, please bring me a souvenir! An intact gold coin!” Old Soth said firmly, in a low voice. “Think it as my compensation for giving you this information. We are good friends, but this is a rule, and we cannot break it!”
A gold coin!?
Sui Xiong found this both funny and annoying. He could tell that Old Soth was not joking, and could not understand why asked for just one gold coin.
What a bizarre way of thinking the people in this world had!
However, Gerrard seemed to be able to understand Old Soth’s bizarre thinking. He earnestly promised him that he would choose a most special souvenir and bring it to his hands.
Old Soth was quite satisfied. He smiled and left.
“Gerrard, what on Earth are you two talking about? Is it really that important, that souvenir?” Sui Xiong asked.
“Your Majesty, this is a tradition followed by us adventurers.” Gerrard knew that his God did not have a clear grasp of this world, so he explained patiently to him. “We adventurers would often get clues about some treasures or other valuable things, but for several reasons, there are many clues that we cannot even prove useful. Therefore, when we meet a young adventurer who we like, we give them to him. If he manages to find the treasure with the help of the clue, no matter how much they got, he would have to bring some of the treasure to the elder adventurer. This is both about us showing respect to the tradition, and inheriting the culture that has been handed down from generation to generation.”
Hearing this, Sui Xiong suddenly felt Old Soth’s stooped body looked much taller.
An old adventurer who gave a young adventurer his experience, and a dream that he hoped the young would achieve, asked him to bring a souvenir to him when the young one succeed. That way he could also taste the happiness of being successful when the was already been too old to take an adventure. He could also prove the hard work he did in the past was not futile. The love and spirit for adventure were really touching!
This was just like the former professionals of the electronic sports; even if they retired, even if they were defeated by the amateur, they still loved the game and stood by their duty of being commentators. They were trying to make the viewers to like the game in the form of cross talk, and share their happiness with others. They would never regret it if they became the laughing stock or were considered the comedian.
Although the world Sui Xiong belonged was different from this world, this spirit was the same!
“Old Soth, I will help rebuild your body, and bring you back to life after you die. I will make a super strong body for you. It is okay that the old you has both short legs and feet; I will make sure that you will not be harmed by knife, sword, water, fire, electricity or ice. I will also grant you the ability to clear away any barriers. All you need to do is roll, with your face facing the ground. You can continue your adventurer career!”
The huge jellyfish that was deeply moved stayed underground and scratched its jaw with its tentacles. It smiled, and felt nothing strange with its way of thinking…