Just as purchasing was in full swing, the duke arrived at the scene. He was absolutely shocked. ‘Wow, so these refugees are indeed buying everything huh,’ he thought. They had more money than he expected.
The duke looked at Skinny Dark Man in the middle he was Ye Lang. He was confused again, for he thought that although the skinny dark man had something different about him, he didn’t look like some rich folk. Hmm, then again he had to be a very peculiar aristocrat, or he wouldn’t be mixing around with these refugees.
[Note: we’re calling him Skinny Dark Man from now on]
He wanted to greet the man, so the first thing to do was to make his way across the huge crowd between them. The entire place was currently packed with people, and most of them were just there to watch!
The duke wanted to use his authority to make way for himself, but just as he wanted to shout his way through, someone else did it- though not for his sake.
“Get out of the way, and let THE commander pass!!”
Suddenly, the rowdiness toned down, and a path appeared among the people. A man with an entourage appeared. The people nearby seemed to be afraid of them.
In this small town, there was only one who could address himself as the commander. The commander of the mercenary group. Everyone was afraid of getting in his way, obvious from the fear written on the people’s faces. Not only fear but hatred too.
Despite all this, they still made way for him to pass through immediately.
“Hmph!” snorted the commander. He stepped on the stirrup, and the horse strutted forward slowly. He looked so imposing that the duke was starting to get jealous. He felt like he wasn’t intimidating enough himself, unlike this commander.
It seemed like this commander of the mercenary commanded way more power than the duke!!
“Are you the one who ordered your men to beat my brother-in-law to death?” said the commander coldly to Skinny Dark Man, pointing at him. His tone made the people realised one thing: if the man said yes, he would kill him right on the spot.
Of course, it seemed like no one was worried about this, as they were more interested in another thing- the commander’s brother-in-law was beaten to death?
Then that would be great, no matter what, they would have to celebrate when they got home. They’d all been very much annoyed by that awful officer who’d always blackmailed people based off the fact his relative was the town’s mob boss.
Some merchants decided that if they were to continue doing business with the refugees, they would lower the prices in order to praise their good deeds.
If only they could kill this commander too, then they’d even give away their goods for free!
Over these years, the merchants didn’t earn as much as the people under the commander. These merchants believed the mercenary must have riches upon riches hidden in their houses, so they would definitely rob and divide them among themselves.
Not to mention the shared money, just giving out stuff for free- it would be definitely worth it!!
If this commander was so bad, then why did the duke still have him? Well, the duke also couldn’t be blamed because he was so busy managing the town he had no time for other matters. And the commander acted like a goody-two-shoes in front of him, so he was unclear of this situation too.
The people wanted to report to the duke, but they had to go through the commander. And if you tried to sneak past him, you would be dead meat.
This mercenary group was the biggest source of violence in this town, and getting rid of the commander seemed to be impossible.
So, even if the duke saw the commander’s true colours, in such a short period of time, he still couldn’t be replaced. Changing a commander required a reconsideration period!
“He had it coming!! He stole food from us, so many people have died because of him! And he dared insult this gentleman here, so it was mostly his fault. If only I was strong enough, I would’ve kicked him too...I felt better after I spat on his body though,” retorted the skinny dark man, staring at the commander.
What?! That officer did that? Well, then he deserved it! Where’s the body, I’m going to spit on him too!
Everyone on the scene had this thought, just like Skinny Dark Man- they couldn’t beat him up but they still could spit on his body. No, wait- it would be better to whip it. Uhh... That’d be a little too cruel, so spitting on his body would be better.
Their imagination ran wild. Feeling extremely satisfied with their imaginary scenes, the crowd focused on the scene before their eyes again. This skinny dark man dared to confront the commander, then it was no doubt that he was going to be killed.
“Do you want to die today?” The commander went off his horse, wanting to grab hold of Skinny Dark man to teach him a lesson. Just right at that moment, he suddenly stopped to gape at the spectacular sight on the ground…
Piles and piles of gold and silver coins!!
The commander had failed to notice this before, but now that he was approaching them, the shiny coins caught his attention.
Although he had a lot of riches, he was still tempted by this large pile of gold and silver- he wanted to have all these as his!!
“Don’t you dare think of taking it, they belong to Sir!” The skinny dark man and the others tried to protect the gold coins from the commander as they could clearly see the greed in his eyes. Everyone in the crowd could see too when their eyes met his.
Not only Skinny Dark Man, even the soldiers who were watching also sided with them- it seemed like they want to protect the gold and silver coins too.
“He killed my relative, so these will serve as compensation to my nephew. He’s got a family, and now he’s dead, money is needed to support his family!!” The commander was quick to find a reason- a reason to take everything.
He sounded like he’d done this many times before. A ‘skilled’ man indeed.
At this point, if the officer were to be revived, the commander would’ve found a way to kill him again… There was just so much money!!
“Is it for you, or for his family?” snorted Skinny Dark Man, showing his disgust for the commander. Anyone would’ve seen through his excuse- why not just be straightforward enough to tell me you’re going to take it for yourself. At least I would have some respect for you.
“I AM his family!” The commander looked at the skinny dark man and scoffed, “What? You think I’m worried you won’t let me take it? I make the rules here.”
“What if we say no? Will you kill us all?” mocked the skinny dark man. He seemed to take life and death lightly, maybe because of the disaster- he just didn’t care that much anymore.
Or perhaps he just wasn’t afraid at all!