The Uncle and the Bandits (part 1)
Uncle Bone spoke very frankly and assuredly, giving me a concrete general idea of the entire situation.
A long, long time ago….actually it wasn’t a long long time ago, it was just some time ago.
A demon lived in the nearby forest and would irregularly attack the village, appearing like a god and vanishing like a ghost. Even the inspection official was at his wit’s end. The first time the demon attacked the village, it killed seven hundred people, and over time it led to a large-scale massacre. Afterwards, a group of people came, calling themselves the Citizen’s Warriors. They sent away the inspection official, and “beat back” that monster.
At first, the townspeople celebrated the victory, but in time they discovered an abnormality.
This group of people weren’t any kind of good people, they weren’t brave men or heroes, they were just a group of intelligent bullies. They colluded with the people with the greatest power in town, the noblemen, extracting the money of the citizens. Behind the flourishing little town was a group of workers enduring the cold and suffering the hunger, feeding the owners who were reaping without sowing. Though it looked bright and lively, actually it was lifeless.
What’s even more urgent is that some of the townspeople tried to resist, but there were barely any results. They thought of making the town go through a stringent investigation, and had already gotten people to report about the matter to the government. But the noblemen, who squandered money like dirt, oppressed the issue, and the informants were brutally killed.
There was also a time where there was no food to eat. The whole town started a large-scale uprising, but the bandits were exceptionally strong. Moreover, the demon suddenly appeared. The townspeople’s casualties were disastrous, and they could only listen to the commands of the bandits.
Although I had originally thought that the issue couldn’t be simple, I didn’t think that the officials and the brigands would collude in such a big show. Even the demon appeared. The uprising and rebellion were not successful. They created a group of female slaves who longed for death, and who remained only could lament their fate.
“Talking so much, who are you really?”
Ho, Uncle Bone, you really are hale and hearty.
“A travelling salesman. However, my companion is an investigation official.”
“You’re lying to me. I only need to look once and I can see that you are a forger, moreover, quite the accomplished one. This old man cannot even compare.”
Bone had great intuition. The gaze shot out from his eyes was very swift and fierce.
This person wasn’t like the rest. He wasn’t longing to lose his life.
He was a tough bone.
I had prepared to say goodbye when suddenly I heard a rough knock on the door.
“Hey! Ya old man! Get out here!”
Uncle Bone immediately squeezed into a box, hinting at me to not open the door.”
“If you don’t pay up, next time I’ll stab you to death.”
I pulled open the door. At the entrance were three coarse thugs. Each had dumb faces, muscular bodies, exaggerated hairstyles, and a large iron sword.
“Ah? Who is this youngster?”
“Sorry, I am a travelling salesman. I wanted to come in here to count my inventory, but discovered that the owner wasn’t here.”
They immediately changed their expressions.
This town placed a lot of importance on businessmen. After all, if businessmen didn’t come, this town would be like a pool of stagnant water, and there wouldn’t be any money to collect. As such, they encouraged businessmen to trade, taxes were also low. Even if it was a bandit, they were probably taught to not offend a travelling merchant. It really was a convenient position.
“Oh oh, a businessman, we’re very sorry. Could you please uncover your face?”
I pressed three silver coins into the hand of the leader.
“I’m really sorry, my face was scratched up by wolves in the forest. I can’t show it in good company. I beg of dage to be understanding. That old guy is my old customer. If he owes you money, then I am also somewhat responsible. I don’t know if this much is enough?”
That person immediately patted his hair and burst out laughing.
“Hahaha, enough, that’s enough. No doubt it’s a businessman, you’re very straightforward. You guys, let’s move out!”
He took a silver coin and threw it into the bag on his back, while the remaining two coins were put in his purse.
Uncle Bone clambered out of the box.
“The youngsters today understand etiquette quite well.”
I shut the wooden door.
“It’s as you said. I am an ironworker, but right now I am a travelling salesman. I want to think over production costs. You have given me good information, paying a little reward is not that big of a deal.”
“Ke, what information. However, you have to be careful. Even if a inspection official knew of this matter, they couldn’t do much. Your companion would probably just turn a blind eye.”
In my heart I had a good laugh, but I spoke solemnly:
“Uncle, that magic beast, how strong is it?”
“My heavens, that thing is too scary. Except if the expedition force transferred some members of their force, it couldn’t be beaten! If it were the wolf king that has killed countless people in the forest, upon seeing the beast it would turn its head and run.”
So there’s no closer way to gauge its strength? I reckon that would wolf would run away with its tail between its legs if it saw me now.
Anyway, I’ll just deal with it as if it were “very strong”.
“Another thing, uncle. I wanted to ask you to take a look at my sword.”
I took out a silver short sword from within my cloak.
Bone’s eyes brightened.
“Ohohoh! This old geezers eyes were not wrong! You really are quite the forger.”
Just as I was to speak, Bone said:
“But it’s still lacking in heat control. Your sword was not made by hammering it. It looks more like it was pinched.”
“That’s right. It’s because of maintained skill. I don’t need to forge it, but in which aspects is it lacking?”
Uncle carefully handed me the sword.
“This old geezer can’t determine it exactly, because I could never make this good of the knife. But I do have one point to make. Forging is not just remove the impurities, there is another purpose. It is something you must comprehend for yourself.”
I raised my head to tell the time, and it was already noon. The time was not early. I had to return to the inn to meet up with Ka Luona and co.
“That was good advice, Uncle Bone. If I can restore the life to this town, you have to tell me the profound meaning of forging, and also the reason why you don’t make weapons.”
Uncle Bone shook his head.
“Agreed. I can do that. But I urge you to leave immediately. It’s not just the magic beast – the bandit core members have extreme strength. Especially their leader, Bayerman. He’s not just ordinarily strong. He is vicious and merciless, and has matchless strength. One punch of his can split rock.”
Can you not choose a cooler thing to compare it to? My fist can also break rock. If it’s like this, I don’t know who’s stronger.
Anyway, that magic beast is definitely something they tamed. Since they’re that strong, I will define them to be “very strong” for the time being.
“What’s there to be scared of? Our inspection official is the number one in her year.”
Although her experience isn’t enough, her strength can’t so easily be looked down upon.
Besides the bandits, I need to think of a way to deal with the noblemen.