Chapter 356 – Smith
After the carriage stopped, Zhao Hai and the others got off from the vehicle. There were two guards standing right by the mansion’s front gate. The two wore chainmail armor and wore stiff faces as they just stood there motionless. They looked just like sets of armors placed there.
From the square towards the front gate of mansion, there were a total of 20 steps. Zhao Hai slowly walked toward the front gate attracting attention from both pedestrians and peddlers.
Zhao Hai didn’t care about the gazes of these people and continued towards the mansion’s front gate. The two guards didn’t move as though they didn’t notice Zhao Hai. This made Zhao Hai a bit confused, but he still went forward and used the knocker on the mansion’s gate.
After two knocks, Zhao Hai stopped, then the gate opened as a young male servant came from inside. He looked at Zhao Hai and gave him a salute, “What does Mister need?”
Zhao Hai smiled faintly, “A friend had me send this letter to the City Lord. I’ll have to trouble you to hand this to him.” Then he handed the letter that Bell wrote.
The young man received the letter, and when he looked at it his expression changed. He immediately opened the gate and said, “Mister, please let me welcome you to the reception hall. This one will immediately deliver your letter.” Then the servant left Zhao Hai at the mansion’s reception room.
Upon entering the mansion’s premises, only then did Zhao Hai understand how huge the City Lord’s mansion was. After entering the gate, you will see a separate house which acted as a reception area for people who’ll come and visit. Behind the row of houses was a courtyard, but there was nobody there right now. Right after the field was the main house. There was a sign hung outside but he couldn’t read it at this time. What he knew, however, was how big the mansion was, the land it was on was almost as large as the square outside.
Zhao Hai entered the reception room, the room was actually very good. Inside was a complete tea set, while the walls were decorated with various calligraphies as well as paintings. After he came inside, the man immediately had someone serve Zhao Hai the tea, then immediately withdrew back, everything seem to be going along the proper customs.
When Zhao Hai saw this scene, he couldn’t help but nod secretly. Looking at the servants’ performance, as well as the customs of Calci Family, he knew how educated the people inside the mansion were. Quite fitting for a Family placed at the pinnacle among others in the continent.
Zhao Hai calmed down and sat quietly inside the reception room while drinking tea. He didn’t become uneasy regarding the City Lord’s Mansion. He already did what he could, all that happens later on will depend on the Calci Family.
When Zhao Hai was about to start drinking his second cup of tea, footsteps could be heard outside the room. Then the male servant who received Zhao Hai appeared after opening the door. At the side of this servant was an old man that looked to be between 60 to 70 years old. The silk clothing that the man wore was very well managed, it didn’t have any creases in it, his hair was combed very well, he seemed to be very meticulous.
He wore a very serious face that looked like he was in total concentration. His face was full of wrinkles and he had some amount of gray hair. Despite these, his eyes were full of vitality and seemed to be shining.
Zhao Hai quickly stood up as the old man looked towards Zhao Hai and said, “Greetings Mister. I am the city lord’s assistant, the City Lord asked me to invite mister over.”
Zhao Hai bowed as well and said, “I’ll have to trouble mister.” Then he followed the old man.
As the two of them went out of the reception room, Zhao Hai spotted the male servant heading outside the mansion. This made Zhao Hai relieved, it seemed like the servant would arrange somewhere for Laura and the others to stay.
The assistant was a very serious person, he didn’t say a word to Zhao Hai as they walked towards the main mansion.
Zhao Hai also took the time to evaluate the City Lord’s Mansion. The building closest to the gate was the reception hall, it was right next to the courtyard. After walking further, there was a martial art arena and there were people currently practicing inside. After passing the arena, there was another building with a sign on it that said “Steward’s Hall.”
Crossing the steward’s hall, there was another gate towards the interior part of the City Lord’s Mansion. After entering the gate, you were again met with another training field where warriors could be seen training. Behind the field was a building with a sign that said, “Secretariat”. After passing that building, there was a small courtyard, but this time there was nobody practicing here. Inside, there was a fountain pond with flowers nearby; the place looked very silent and tranquil.
Behind the small square was a small building. The building looked like a villa, it was very beautiful.
The old man didn’t stop and immediately took Zhao Hai towards the small building. The first floor of the building was huge office, it was divided into two sections; one is for proper office use while the other on was used for receiving guests. Inside the reception area, there was a middle aged man standing there.
The figure of the middle-aged man wasn’t tall, he looked very thin and weak. But this person was very stylish, he dressed very well.
The person had black hair, white skin, a square but small face. His features were very pronounced and gave anyone a sense of authority whenever they look at him. It was impossible for any other person to not see the feeling of imposingness just by looking at this man.
The old man walked towards the middle-aged person and said, “City Lord, this is Mister Zhao Hai.”
The man was looking at Zhao Hai while he listened to the old man’s words. He nodded his head and said to Zhao Hai, “Welcome to Sky Water City, Mister Zhao Hai has tired himself by coming here, please sit down.”
Zhao Hai hastily bowed and said, “Zhao Hai sees the City Lord, the City Lord is too polite.” Then he took a seat.
The City Lord also sat down, he sized up Zhao Hai and said, “I have already read Bell’s letter. And since mister is someone from our own side, I won’t be polite and ask why did mister come here? Tell me anything that you need. Also, don’t call me City Lord, I’m Smith Calci, just call me Brother Smith.”
Zhao Hai didn’t think that Smith would be very polite, he quickly replied, “Of course, Brother Smith, also you don’t need to call me mister any more, just call me Zhao Hai, little Hai is also good. Brother Smith should know of my present situation, I don’t have any means to stay inside Aksu Empire anymore. Even other countries are not safe because of the Radiant Church, I feel that they would go to all ends just to chase after me. Therefore I can only go to Brother Smith and hope that Brother would provide me refuge.”
Hearing what Zhao Hai said, Smith couldn’t help but laugh, “Brother is too polite, you’re with the league so naturally i’ll treat you like a true brother. You shouldn’t be very polite with me. Right, are you staying at Shelley Hotel? If you’re asking me for help, then how could I make you stay at Shelley Hotel? How about this, you and your people stay here in the mansion, what do you think?”
Zhao Hai didn’t think that Smith would actually have him stay inside the City Lord’s Mansion. To be honest, he felt that he couldn’t bear Smith’s enthusiasm, he quickly said, “It’s too much trouble. I think I’m better staying outside, I’ll just find a place to stay. How could I trouble Brother Smith?”
Smith showed a faint smile and said, “You’re being too polite, how could a big house such as this not have some place for you? Listen to me, go back and pack your things to move in right away. Ah, you don’t need to do that, Uncle Phil, go send someone to do that. To be more convenient, tell the people from the hotel that Little Hai is my brother, so I had him move inside the mansion.”
The old man who led Zhao Hai was apparently named Phil. He gave a nod then turned to exit the office. Zhao Hai didn’t think Smith would be very swift, he didn’t even have an opportunity to refuse.
Zhao Hai could only force a smile. Smith turned to Zhao Hai and said, “Little Hai, didn’t you also come here to do business? Bell said that you have good products in your hand? What are they?”
Zhao Hai stared, then he smiled, “I have a lot of products on hand, but if we’re talking about good products, then I only have a few. One of them are my Haven products. I think Brother Smiled should have heard of them?” Although Haven products hadn’t reached Rosen Empire and only existed inside Aksu Empire’s Purcell Duchy, Zhao Hai thought that with Calci Family’s information network, it would be impossible for them to not know of it.
Smith smiled and replied, “I have, but just those couldn’t be considered as a good business. What else do you have?”
Zhao Hai smiled, “There is also the milk wine that I’m supplying Shelley Hotel, its high quality milk wine.” As he said that, he turned his hand as he placed a couple of liquor bags on the table. Then he continued, “This milk wine used the beastmen’s method to ferment but I added my own methods to improve it. This is much better than the Fruit Wine the people in the continent consumes. Also, this is a strong liquor, it only takes a small cup to make any average person drunk. From what I know, this is the only liquor of its type in the entire continent; it’s a unique product. Currently, I have a partnership with Bell and Shelley Hotel for this product. I supply Bell with 1,000 jin per month while Shelley Hotel gets 10,000 jin. Does Brother Smith want to taste?”
Smith looked at the liquor bags on the table. He saw they were the most common liquor bags used by the beastmen. Calci Family controls the entire Sky Water City. This was the most famous port inside Rosen Empire, so it was natural that there were also a lot of ships that sail from here to the Beastman Prairie and vice versa. At the same time, Calci Family also had a lot of ships sailing to and from the prairie, so Smith naturally had seen this kind of liquor bag a lot.
Zhao Hai looked at Smith calmly. He took out some Milk Wine to test Smith. He wanted to see whether Smith would dare drink the wine that he brought.
From the moment he met Smith, Smith was very enthusiastic. Although his enthusiasm was great, Zhao Hai couldn’t help but be a bit skeptical. Smith allowed him to stay inside the City Lord’s Mansion which was also Smith’s place. Zhao Hai thought that making him stay inside the mansion was not only for protecting him, but also for monitoring him.
If Smith was not suspicious of him, then he would certainly drink Zhao Hai’s liquor. If he was, then he wouldn’t drink the liquor.
Smith took the liquor bag and carefully looked at it, he nodded and said, “This is certainly beastman craftsmanship. Little Hai, do you have business with some beastmen back in the prairie?” At the same time, Smith opened the lid and directly poured the drink into his mouth.
Seeing Smith drink the wine, Zhao Hai’s heart couldn’t’ help but loosen. It seems that Smith really believes him. But as soon as he saw the liquor bag that Smith was holding, he knew that something bad was going to happen.
Fortunately, his movement was quick enough. When Smith poured the liquor in his mouth, he felt his mouth were on fire so he immediately spat out the liquor. If Zhao Hai was slow, he will certainly meet the spit at face value. This was the main reason why Zhao Hai decided to get out of the way, he saw from the liquor bag that the milk wine that Smith took was the one with the highest degree of alcohol.
While holding the liquor bag, Smith was coughing again and again. He didn’t imagine that this wine would be strong to such a degree that as soon as it reached his mouth, it seemed like he was swallowing charcoal, it was too fierce.
Zhao Hai immediately picked up a tea pot and poured Smith a cup of tea and at the same time taking the liquor bag from Smith’s hands. Smith wasn’t polite and immediately drank the tea to make himself feel better
When he finally managed to somewhat recover, he looked at the liquor bag in Zhao Hai’s hand in fear and turned to Zhao Hai, “I must say, Little Hai, are you sure that’s alcohol? Isn’t that poison?”
Zhao Hai laughed and said, “Brother Smith, I wouldn’t drink this wine like that. This wine is very strong. Even the Beastmen who were famous for their alcohol tolerance can’t drink that much. This wine had to be drank slowly. And also, the bag you drank contained the strongest liquor of the batch. The other bags aren’t as strong as this one. Want to give them another try?”
Zhao Hai usually didn’t talk like this to people he met for the first time. But it was surprising that Smith and him didn’t have any sense of being strangers with each other. The two seem to know each other for a long time. After seeing Smith drink his liquor, Zhao Hai wholeheartedly took Smith as a friend.
Shaking his head, Smith replied, “Forget it, it is too strong. I can’t stand it. But this wine is truly very unique, its very great business. Good, I will support you. If you need a store, or some business connections, just tell me and I’ll help you.”
Zhao Hai couldn’t help but get moved as he listened to Smith. He currently didn’t have any connections as well as a place to sell his products, but Smith actually helped him solve these two problems. Who wouldn’t be moved with such gesture?
However, Zhao Hai also knew the quantity he had on his hands. He shook his head regretfully and said, “Unfortunately we don’t have enough to sell massively. Although this liquor is good, the amount I could produce wouldn’t be able to meet the demand. We still need for quite some time before we could provide massive supply”
Smith nodded and said, “Do you have anything else? Show me and maybe I can help you.”
Zhao Hai also nodded, “There is, this one is rations. These rations were something meat that the beastmen air dried and seasoned to be used in times of battle. I’m going to have these rations sent to the continent and sell it to mercenaries. Brother Smith, do you think that this is feasible?”