Chapter 246 – ‘I Want The Battle Flag’
Wales heard Zhao Hai’s words idly. 100 million kilos of grains wasn’t enough for the entire bull headed race, but for just Herculean Bull Tribe alone, these grains could last for a very long time.
Yale had also idled at this time, but he immediately reacted. He called out a couple of warriors to bring the grains from Zhao Hai’s wagon. He wanted to see if the grains Zhao Hai brought were good or bad.
Beastmen prioritized food. It was exactly because of their importance towards food that they were extra demanding when it came to grain quality. Many beastmen were illiterate, but they wouldn’t need to look if a rice was good or bad. They could just use their hands to weigh them in order to tell the difference. They were simply that amazing.
Wales returned to his senses from Yale’s action. He looked at Zhao Hai and asked, “Brother Zhao Hai, you really have 100 million kilos?”
Zhao Hai shook his head, “More than that. To be precise, I can get 100 million kilos of grains every period of time. My fief is very large, so when I plant the bamboo rice in batches, I can harvest them once in a while, hehe.”
Wales was stunned again, and then his expression changed, “Brother Zhao Hai, I’m treating you as a sibling so don’t lie to me, ok? I don’t know how about planting but 100 million kilos would need a very large field, right? Can you really harvest 100 million kilos of grains in such a short time? How large is your fief?”
Zhao Hai had a sudden feeling of sadness when he looked at Wales. He knew that food was precious in beastmen territories, but it seemed like the merchants weren’t being truthful when talking to Wales.
The yield of bamboo rice was very high to begin with. Even outside of the space, the yield wouldn’t be much lower than in the space. As long as there were no vandalizing, the yield of bamboo rice wouldn’t be greatly affected. Bamboo rice on the continent could feed all of the races, including humans, elves, dwarves and even magic beasts.
If humans really wished to trade with beastmen, then the beastmen wouldn’t have to worry about food crisis and the prices of grains wouldn’t be absurdly high.
Yet beastmen didn’t know how to plant crops, so when the human merchants traded with beastmen, they would make crop planting out to be a very difficult thing, and lower the figure of grain yields by a lot. This created an illusion in the beastmen that grain planting was a very difficult and low yield practice. The human merchants no longer needed to lower the grain prices this way. It could be said that they were sucking the beastmen’s blood.
Zhao Hai put down the curved knife in his hand and turned to Wales, “Brother Wales, I told you I’m not a legitimate merchant. I produce my own grains, so I know very well about the grain yields. Do not be deceived by the sly merchants. Take bamboo rice for example. Just 10000 acres of land would yield 100 million kilos, and it matures once every 3 months. If the weather is fine and it could be planted in winter, 1 year 10000 acres, 3 harvests, no natural disasters or human destruction, then brother, I can get 100 million kilos of grains without a problem.”
Wales and Yale both stared blankly at Zhao Hai. To be honest, they really didn’t know about what Zhao Hai said. Beastmen didn’t know how to plant crops, just like how humans didn’t know how to graze herds. For humans, grazing was too hard. Why would the magic beasts get sick all the time? In relation to that, for beastmen, crop planting was too hard. Why would those crops always wilt? It was an unsolvable problem.
It was exactly because of this that the human merchants would speak of grains like they were treasures, and the beastmen believed it, because in the latter’s view, crop planting was truly a difficult matter.
But now Zhao Hai told them that in the human lands, grain production was very high. Wales and Yale couldn’t accept this statement completely at the moment.
The 2 of them looked blankly at Zhao Hai and hoped that what Zhao Hai said was false, because the figures Zhao Hai listed were too far apart from the figures listed by the human merchants.
Wales stammered after a moment, “Y-y-you’re telling the truth?”
Zhao Hai nodded, “Of course! Beastmen usually can’t look at the crop production areas. Once they’re there, they would know it’s real. It’s just most of the major production areas are planted with wheat instead of bamboo rice.”
Just then, the couple of guards that Yale sent out had returned. Each of them were carrying 4 sacks of rice between their arms and torsos. It should be noted that each sack had 100 kilos of rice. The fact that each of them could carry 400 kilos while running was enough to show that the strength of Herculean Bull Tribe members was as the legends said.
The guards put the 8 sacks in front of Wales. Wales and Yale stood up almost at the same time, and walked to the sacks. Both of them opened up a sack each.
Inside the sacks were bamboo rice. They were a little yellow, like someone coated them in a layer of oil, making it appear to have an oily sheen. It was the highest grade of bamboo rice.
Yale almost instinctively poured out a sack of rice and then the ground was full of rice pellets. Zhao Hai wasn’t mad, as he knew why Yale would do that. It must be due to some human merchants who had cheated them in the past, by putting good rice on top, but put mouldy ones at the bottom. That was why Yale did it.
Yale looked at the pellets on the ground and scooped them up softly. He sniffed them with his nose and then chewed them in his mouth. He stood up slowly and turned to Zhao Hai, “Mr. Zhao Hai, are all of your rice of this quality?”
Zhao Hai nodded, “All of them are as such. You can inspect them in any way you like.”
Wales didn’t say anything. He just walked to his table and poured himself a large cup of milk wine. After drinking it all down, he put down the cup and looked at Zhao Hai, “Brother Zhao Hai, I want to have a proper talk with you.”
Zhao Hai looked at Wales and knew that what Wales was about to say would be the key to matters. He nodded and replied, “You can, brother Wales. These 3 next to me are people who will absolutely not betray me. What about the ones around you?”
Wales looked at his escorts and replied, “They too can be completely trusted.”
‘Use people without suspicion, don’t use people when in suspicion’. Wales had demonstrated his ruler’s etiquette on an entry level. The reason why Wales was so sure that these people wouldn’t betray him was because their families were under his control. If these people betrayed him, they and their families would be finished.
Wales received a ruler’s education since little, so he understood very clearly that, as a higher up, just having a bright side isn’t enough. Your subordinates cannot all be proper gentlemen. You can use a gentleman’s methods against gentlemen. If you a gentleman’s methods against lesser people, you will lose greatly.
Wales’ escorts didn’t make a sound, but the eyes that were looking at Wales had changed. They were eyes of gratitude. One could say that a single sentence from Wales had grabbed the hearts of these 300 escorts.
Beastmen were very simple and their thoughts were not as complicated as humans’. To the ones they were truly grateful of, they would give their lives. They wouldn’t be swayed no matter how large of a benefit was placed before them. But if these beastmen knew that Wales had controlled their families in secret, they would fight against Wales despite the cost of their own and their families’ lives, without backing away. This was the beastmen; Direct, brave, and no sands in their eyes.
It was exactly because of this that Wales only controlled their families in the shadows and not daring to let them know. If these people really knew about it, then Wales would have no one left to use.
This is the contradicting part of a ruler. They know how to control their subordinates and get their hearts, but they always think that just having their subordinates’ hearts isn’t enough. They have to put a failsafe over their hearts.
Zhao Hai glanced at the eyes of the escorts and knew what Wales meant. He didn’t display anything and just smiled, “Then what are you waiting for, brother Wales? Speak.”
Wales looked at Zhao Hai and said, “Brother Zhao Hai, you should know that I’m the 7th prince of Herculean Bull Tribe. In fact, I’m even one of the candidates of being the chieftain. The top competitor is my eldest brother Gasol. He has the most accomplishments in the tribe and has the most following. My seniority isn’t enough, so I would like to cooperate with you.”
Zhao Hai listened to Wales’ words silently. To be honest, he felt that what Wales said was seriously cliched. It’s like the large kingdoms would always run into such things. Sibling conflicts seemed to be something all the families in high positions could not avoid.
Wales noticed how Zhao Hai went silent so he added, “If you really have that many grains, I want to cooperate with you, and use your grains to solve my tribe’s food problems. I can gain public opinion this way and maybe the position of chieftain in the tribe will be mine. If I become the chieftain, then you’ll be the Herculean Bull Tribe’s sole grain dealer.”
This temptation was huge. The sole grain dealer of a race, for any merchant, was an irresistible temptation.
How many grains does a single race need each year? No one really calculated it before, but what was certain was that it would be an astronomical sum, especially for beastmen. All of the beastmen could eat more than humans. With the same amount of population, they needed several times more food than humans. If a merchant became a race’s sole source of food, that merchant would become one of the greatest dealers on the continent almost immediately.
Unfortunately, Zhao Hai could not be regarded as a legitimate merchant, but he could still fulfill Spiel’s request. He looked at Wales and said, “I don’t care about whether or not I can become Herculean Bull Tribe’s sole grain dealer. I planted the grains myself. As long as I have the grains, I will not worry about selling them on Beastmen Prairie. I can cooperate with you, brother Wales, but I want something from you.”
Wales looked at Zhao Hai with incomprehension, “What do you want?”
“I want Herculean Bull Tribe’s friendship battle flag.”