“I heard you,” replied Ye Lang. His expression and tone didn’t change.
“Then why come in?!” snorted the officer.
“Does us coming in relate to you at all?” questioned Ye Lang.
Exactly… Did it really?
The question lingered in everyone’s mind. To think about it, it seemed like they weren’t related at all. Who was that person? What authority does he have to talk like that?
Who did he think he was? The Duke? The emperor?
“Of course it does, I’m the…” The officer was at a loss for words.
“What’s your role here? The chef?” asked Ye Lang. He was responsible for giving out the porridge, so he might be the head chef or something.
“The chef? I... I’m the ration officer here…” The little officer finally revealed his official name, but it also made him feel embarrassed. He looked at Ye Lang and was about to fly into a rage out of humiliation.
“Oh you’re the ration officer, apologies,” said Ye Lang in a gesture of respect for the officer’s feelings. However, it didn’t last long.
“But I don’t understand why a ration officer would care if we enter. Do you have the authority to stop us?” asked Ye Lang gently. He didn’t ask this with the intention of looking down on him, simply out of curiosity.
However, it sounded different in the ears of others. They thought Ye Lang was mocking him so the officer wouldn’t have a chance to recover from this embarrassing incident.
At this moment, the people who were around, including the people who were in the town couldn’t help but sneer at him. It seemed like they didn’t really like this ration officer.
“I don’t have the authority? Why would I not have the authority? Do you know who my brother-in-law is?” In a situation like this, most people take the opportunity to play the family card - but it wasn’t the best idea.
He was like a dog making threats with its master's power.
The people from the town began to curse under their breath. They were able to tolerate this ration officer not because they were scared that they would have no food, as he had no right to take away their portions of the food supply, but because of his brother-in-law.
“I don’t!” Ye Lang shook his head.
“But, does it matter? Can your brother-in-law represent you?”
“Uh, of course!” the ration officer replied with uncertainty. This simply made everyone certain that he couldn’t.
And at this moment, Ye Lang said, “Oh, I see. Then tell me who your brother-in-law is.”
Please don’t tell me you believed him!
Everyone broke into a sweat for Ye Lang. How could he even believe such a lie?
“My brother-in-law, he’s the head of the mercenary group here,” said the ration officer arrogantly.
“Oh, head of the mercenary group… not the Duke?” asked Ye Lang.
“Then why are you so cocky about it?” asked Ye Lang while smiling.
Everyone was stunned…
“Of course I’m..uh..what?” The ration officer didn’t know how to react after looking at Ye Lang’s smile. He thought Ye Lang was giving a compliment.
As the people around Ye Lang came back into their senses, they all said in unison, “Then why are you so cocky about it?”
The ration officer’s face turned beet red as if he was going to explode at any second. The level of his anger seemed to be at its breaking point.
“You’re not the Duke, so what rights do you have to restrict our entry? Even if you were the Duke, you’d still have to open the gate for me- and you’re not! If you’re sensible enough, get lost and stay as far away as possible!” said Ye Lang softly.
The ration officer jumped and shouted in a desperate voice, “How dare you say that, you lowly commoner! I’m telling you, don’t even think of entering this gate today, you have no right!”
“Lowly commoner? You could be thrown into jail with what you just said, but I’m not going to waste my time on a person like you. What kind of qualifications do I need to enter this small town?” scoffed Ye Lang while looking at the ration officer.
The ration officer should’ve taken note of what Ye Lang had said. With the way he was insulting Ye Lang, he could be prosecuted for it.
There was a universal law in the mainland. That is, if the aristocrats were insulted, the ones who insulted them would be punished. This was because they were upper classes of society, and they should be respected. Also, if the aristocrats insulted others, the aristocrats would also have to be punished, because they should maintain their nobleness!
Of course, this rule had been trampled upon by some powerful aristocrats and only a few people enforced it. However, it would still be disadvantageous for a civilian to insult the aristocrats. And surely it would be worse if a lower-ranking aristocrat insulted a higher-ranking one.
They were mere civilians, the aristocrats would just want to teach them a lesson. After all, they didn’t want to be seen fussing over something a commoner said. However, with all the competition among the aristocrats, something like that wouldn’t be forgiven easily.
By the looks of the ration officer, he might be a low-ranked aristocrat, though his identity would never be higher than Ye Lang’s. Ye Lang might’ve had another title but even he couldn’t figure it out what it was. Still, it was there.
Although Ye Family had already left the Soaring Sky Empire, their aristocratic status was still recognized by all countries. And in order to express goodwill to Ye Family, even Ye Lang the thirteenth prince, who could sometimes be a pain, would be forgiven.
At this moment, the ration officer and the others only cared about Ye Lang’s tone. He said ‘this town was JUST a small town’. He was either a very arrogant person or someone of special status.
Of course, the ration officer would rather believe the former but Ye Lang might be an arrogant aristocrat.
“Hmph, you’re brave for saying that. And do YOU have the authority to speak like that?!” huffed the ration officer. He still didn’t linger on the topic of Ye Lang’s identity, as if afraid that it would open a can of worms.
“So what qualifications do I need?” asked Ye Lang faintly.
“You would need to pay for the entrance fee at the very least. This is the most basic thing. 10 copper coins for those with empire citizenship and 1 silver coin for those who don’t!” said the ration officer reluctantly. He felt Ye Lang’s identity wasn’t that simple, he had a temperament the refugees didn’t.
“It’s just an entrance fee… and I thought it was something huge. Do you all have your citizenship documents?” asked Ye Lang towards the refugees around him.
In the past, Ye Lang would’ve already thrown a bag of gold coins at him. But he didn’t want to do that now, he didn’t even want to give anything more.
This didn’t mean that he suddenly realized that he didn’t want to be a prodigal anymore. It was because he understood that he should spend his money on where it should be spent on. He could do the prodigal thing later.
When he realized that there were more than a hundred thousand refugees out there, Ye Lang knew he could spend all his money in a recklessly extravagant way. He might even lose all of his family’s property…