Chapter 35 – Onslaught
Maylin had been highly dissatisfied with Axu Empire, but she still hoped that Zhao Hai could one day return to the imperial capital and become an influential noble. That would truly mean that Buda family had been acknowledged by the old noble families, and become truly powerful.
What Maylin didn’t know was that Zhao Hai didn’t have the slightest intention of going to the imperial capital, and he had even less intention of gaining the old nobles’ approval. In his view, getting their approval had nothing to do with him. He would live out his days whether he had their approval or not. As long as he had strength, approval meant nothing.
It was no wonder that their values were so distant from each other. Maylin had lived on Ark Continent since she had been little, in a world where nobility reigned supreme. Gaining the approval of the old nobles was every new noble’s goal. Getting their approval meant that they had become true nobles. Otherwise, they’d be branded as noveau riches.
On the other hand, Zhao Hai was from Earth, from a time where there were no nobles. So what if you’re a noble? I am a noble as long as I have money. You cannot deny me as long as I have strength. That was why Zhao Hai didn’t mind not having the approval of the old nobles.
However, he would study seriously all the same, in order to know this world better. Only in this way could he let Buda family develop faster and stronger.
Zhao Hai didn’t read the random notes in a hurry. He searched around, but was unable to find any insightful writings. The simplest ones were perhaps the simple basics regarding magics and battle auras. He glanced at the books, and realized that they were written very abstractly. If there were no guidance from another person, one would not be able to get very far just by reading. Since he couldn’t learn magics or battle auras, he tossed the books aside after a few more pages.
In the end, Zhao Hai paid attention to the random notes. He then found something good when he was flipping around. It was a book about calligraphy.
This book detailed the uses of the various pens. Zhao Hai then understood that all of the different types of pens were not just for appearances. Each had their own use.
Brushes were for writing and drawing, commonly used by people who liked calligraphy a lot. Some mages also used such brushes to make magic formation scrolls, because formations on scrolls needed to be drawn larger.
Feather pens were the main pens used in making magic scrolls, due to the narrowness of their strokes, which made them suitable for middle-to-small-sized scrolls.
As for what appeared to be steel signature pens, they were used for writing and recording. The filling of the pen contained ink, which could then be used to write a lot of words. However, these pens could not be used to make magic scrolls due to metal having very bad magic conductivity. Mages normally didn’t carry metallic objects on them, since doing so would affect their use of magic. Of course, some special metals had very good magic conductivity, but their prices were highly expensive. No one would use them to make steel pens.
Charcoal pens were used exclusively in alchemy. They were commonly used to draw some schematics or drafts.
Zhao Hai also saw that, from the notes, great nobles on the continent still used brushes when signing important documents, as that was a display of their status.
This surprised Zhao Hai a little. Back on Earth, he had always wanted to learn Chinese calligraphy; however, he had had no money and teacher, so he had not been able to fulfill that wish. He hadn’t expected that there was calligraphy in this world. It seemed that he now had a hope of fulfilling that wish.
But, he found that learning calligraphy right now was impractical. There were too many matters to settle on the Black Wastelands to learn calligraphy.
Zhao Hai stayed in the study until 2 PM, when someone suddenly knocked on the door. Zhao Hai asked, “Who is it?”
Rockhead’s voice came from behind the door, “Young master, we have dug up some rocks. Please go and bring them to the castle.”
Zhao Hai put down a book he was reading, and then he opened the door, “Let’s go.” He walked outside with Rockhead following from behind.
Zhao Hai asked while he was walking, “Are you still digging for rocks in that cave?”
Rockhead nodded, “Yes, young master. An looked at those caves and said that the rocks in that cave are the easiest to be excavated. The rocks from that cave are not iron ores, so they’re best for making rollers and millstones. Maybe the dwarves stopped excavating because the rocks didn’t have any iron.”
Zhao Hai nodded, “We must prioritize safety. Right now, our family only has this handful of people left, and we can’t afford to lose them. Every person lost means every bit of strength gone. I’m having you watch them in order to prevent them from being too careless.”
Rockhead nodded as he knew what Zhao Hai meant. The slaves were very passionate in their work under the encouragement of Zhao Hai’s speech about removing the status of slavery. However, they were a bit too impatient, so attention had to be paid to their safety.
When the 2 of them reached the outer part of the castle, they saw that the women were still working on grass mats, but there was no sight of Ju or Meg among them.
Zhao Hai didn’t stay there. He went out of the castle with Rockhead towards the mountain. Zhao Hai noticed it when they climbed the mountain. There seemed to be a grass shed on top of the mountain. Zhao Hai asked Rockhead while he pointed at the shed, “Is that shed the guard post I talked about?”
Rockhead nodded, “Yeah. Granny Maylin allowed us to build a small shed. There are a couple of people keeping watch. The shift changes about every 2 hours.”
Zhao Hai nodded. As expected of Maylin of Buda family. The family had risen to their current place due to their military accomplishments. When Maylin had been younger, she had been a part of many expeditions. When it came to guard posts, it would be like second nature to her.
Just then, a figure of a person suddenly ran towards them while shouting loudly. Although Zhao Hai couldn’t make out what that person was shouting, his heart couldn’t help but sink. He turned to Rockhead, “Head to the cave, quick. Let everyone there return to the castle immediately, then go find Blockhead and the others and do the same. I’m going to find Meg and the others.”
Just when he was going to start running, Rockhead grabbed on Zhao Hai’s hand, “Young master, I alone will be enough. You go back to the castle. Buda family cannot go on without you. If anything happens, you go into the space.”
Zhao Hai was startled, and then his expression tensed up, “Nonsense! I am the head of Buda family. How can I shirk away in such times? Just go!”
Rockhead ran past Zhao Hai and then kneeled down in front of him. He hugged Zhao Hai’s legs, “Young master, please go back to the castle! If Buda family loses you, we will all be finished!”
Zhao Hai knew from the expression on his face that Rockhead wouldn’t move if he didn’t consent to it. He knew about the twins’ stubbornness. He remembered vividly how they put their swords against their own necks.
Zhao Hai could only nod his head and say, “Fine. Then you go ahead, and I’ll go back to the castle to let everyone inside.” Rockhead stood up and obeyed.
Just then, the running person stopped in front of Zhao Hai. He kneeled down and said, “Master, there are a lot of beasts and undead creatures coming from the mountainside. They are climbing up.”
Zhao Hai asked immediately, “Are there still people in the shed?”
The person answered, “Yes. He’s still up there.” Zhao Hai spoke furiously, “Idiot! Why hasn’t he come down? Rockhead, go and get that guy down.” Rockhead heeded with a sound and ran in the blink of an eye.
Zhao Hai looked at the kneeling slave and asked, “What is your name?”
The person replied, “Replying to master. I am called Lin.”
Zhao Hai nodded, “Go back to the castle immediately and find granny Maylin. See if she’s in the castle. If she isn’t, then tell the ones making the grass mats to get into the castle. This is my order. Go.”
Lin obeyed with a sound, and he sprinted towards the castle. Zhao Hai knew that he himself couldn’t possibly be as fast as Lin, so he let Lin bear his words ahead of him.
Zhao Hai tried to run towards the castle, but this physique of his really sucked. He was exhausted to the point of panting after running for just a few paces.
After reaching the castle, he noticed that the grass mat makers had gone into the castle. Maylin was standing there as everyone looked at Zhao Hai worriedly.
Maylin walked towards him and asked, “What do we do now, young master?”
Zhao Hai panted and spoke, “Granny Maylin, do a headcount immediately and see how many people are in this courtyard. I’m now entering the castle. When everyone’s here, tell them to close the gates.”
Maylin replied immediately, “You should stay here and do the headcount, young master. I’ll go to the gates.” She left as soon as she stopped talking. Zhao Hai wasn’t given a chance to object.
Zhao Hai was bummed out upon watching Maylin’s rear figure. His family was taking too much care of him. However, Zhao Hai knew that he had no means of self-defense, so it could only be this way.
He turned around and looked at the people standing here. Other than Lin, they were all females. There were more than 30 of them. Zhao Hai said, “Everybody line up.”
Once the slaves heard him, they lined up immediately. They were so fast, it greatly exceeded his expectations.