“Hey, what are you running for? I’m here! Didn’t you all want something to eat? I have a lot with me!!” When Ye Lang saw the refugees underestimate his presence, he had to immediately show them what he was worth!!
Ye Lang poured a pile of food out of his space ring. Although there were many types, they all tasted good. Ye Lang had spent a long time collecting them, they were all luxury food!
At this point, ‘luxury’ was just a word. They were all food. To the refugees, anything edible was the same, as long as it filled their stomachs!
Humans are the same as all other living things. Under starving conditions, we have only one goal left--- to eat!
And then warmth, and then…
The refugees roared, shoving each other to snatch Ye Lang’s pile of food. Those who first arrived didn’t stop when they took enough to fill their stomachs-- they continued taking to fill their pockets.
Perhaps this was a form of selfishness, a dark streak in humans. Then again, it was human nature- or the nature of any living thing. Any animal would first stock some food for themselves, they wouldn’t care if the others of the same species starved.
Unless it came to their offspring!!
At this point, if this continued, it’d definitely escalate into fights. Ye Lang was initially being a kind soul but he could’ve done something bad here!
Other people might ask them to slow down, to not fight. They’d tell the refugees there was enough for everyone. But Ye Lang didn’t know he ought to stop them, or rather he knew nothing would change even if he tried.
Ye Lang and Little Xin retreated aside, watching the refugees fight.
At this moment, a dark, thin refugee was watching from the outer circles. He wanted to squeeze into the crowd but failed. He made many attempts but gave up out of frustration in the end.
Suddenly, he seemed to recall something. He looked around, then his eyes stopped once they found Ye Lang, immediately running towards Ye Lang.
Ye Lang looked into the pair of eyes, puzzled. He could see the desire for survival within them, but there was a deep clarity in them too. It didn’t feel like they should belong to a refugee, especially not on this dark, thin person.
The owner of the intelligent eyes arrived by Ye Lang’s side. He reached out with a dark, thin little hand, then with a raspy voice, “Can you give me some food? I haven’t eaten in five days…”
Everyone seemed to have forgotten Ye Lang was the person who gave them the food. They didn’t have to fight for the pile, they could get it straight from the source.
However, under the influence of ‘one drop of honey’, everyone forgot about Ye Lang. They only saw the ‘one drop of honey’!
And this skinny person, other than his clear eyes, he had a pure heart too. Although he was tempted too, at least he could quickly find a solution.
“Yeah, I have a little with me here,” Ye Lang gave him some food.
Once he received the food, he didn’t swallow it all whole but carefully pinched off small pieces. He seemed to understand that this was the way to best absorb the nutrients in them, the most efficient method to utilise all the energy in this food.
Of course, if someone saw him and wanted to take his food away, he’d swallow all of it whole!
Fortunately, no one noticed him by Ye Lang’s side. They were split into two groups: one still taking food, the other eating the food they snatched!!
“Come, have some water. Tell me, what happened?” Ye Lang gave the person a bottle of water. He was interested in what happened.
“We’re the villagers of the Gomera district. There has been a drought in recent years, our wheat fields haven’t had a good harvest at all. This year was the driest in a hundred years. We couldn’t harvest a single grain!” he said with a raspy voice, still chewing his food slowly.
“I see. Didn’t the authorities do some sort of crisis response?” asked Ye Lang curiously.
“Crisis response? Hmmph, why would they care about us? They only know how to enjoy themselves, they never cared about us,” he clenched his jaw, as if ready to eat someone.
There was another story here!
The villagers once revolted against the Lord of Gomera but they were repressed by the authorities. Some escaped, but many lost their lives!!
“Doesn’t Ai La’s emperor care?” asked Ye Lang, frowning. Did the empire’s emperor not care about such a serious crisis?
If that were the case, then this empire would fall apart very quickly!
“Of course he does! But it’s useless! The emperor allocates funds for disaster victims every year, but the gold coins never reached our hands. They’re all swallowed by the corrupt officials!” he was still clenching his teeth.
Sigh, it didn’t matter the year, the place or the world, there would always be people like that around!
They said a person who killed a hundred people needed a lifetime to pay for their crimes. These people probably killed hundreds of thousands of people, a hundred lifetimes might not be enough to pay for their sins!!
“Isn’t there the fucking law?” cursed Ye Lang.
“What can the law do about them? Even if the emperor knows, they’d only be mildly punished. Worst case scenario, their property would be confiscated. They’re aristocrats, they’d still live fine!!” the person spat, his voice filled with hatred.
Aristocrats. They were a very frustrating problem- not only for the commoners but also for the authorities. Even if they wanted to eliminate the aristocrats, they couldn’t because they needed them.
The ones in power could only hope the aristocrats would be a little more civilised, that they’d act like an aristocrat!
Of course, under usual circumstances, these aristocrats were aware of what they had to do. No matter what, it was still for their own future, for their family’s future. However, there were still rotten apples among them, and there were many.
About the matters of aristocratic property-- even the authorities might not be able to interfere under normal circumstances. In simple words, the aristocrats owned their land, they were basically a small king.
Take this problem in Gomera. Ai La’s emperor might ask a few questions, help them out a little, but never interfere with the internal politics of the district as long as it wasn’t in chaos.
Of course, if the problem was severe enough, and the Gomera district authorities didn’t care, it’d affect the nearby districts too. Then they’d have to deal with this problem.
However, how many of these villagers would still be alive when that day came? How many would have to die?