Luo Huai Yuan’s words made the group panic incessantly.
However, where should they run to in the middle of the ocean? Were they still in the tiger’s den, and had merely been given a brief respite?
Luo Huai Yuan ignored the crowd and led the way with hurried steps. Before long, he already descended to the second level and he continued searching for a way further down.
That goateed old man hurriedly asked what he was planning after seeing this.
Since it had come to this, Luo Huai Yuan didn’t intend to keep things hidden. He said that most ships had a backup lifeboat. This sort of lifeboat was rarely used. Normally, if something happened to this kind of cargo ship, they would already be in the middle of the ocean. There was no use in getting on such a small lifeboat. However, it was better than nothing. They could only rely on this lifeboat to escape. Regardless, they couldn’t remain on the ship.
Although the old man was still filled with worry, he forced himself to remain calm and started leading the way. It seemed he was very familiar with the internal layout of the ship. Without considering whether he could find the lifeboat, it was still better than Luo Huai Yuan’s blind searching. The people had already realized that Luo Huai Yuan had no idea where he was going.
“This old fogey knows where the lifeboat is?” Luo Huai Yuan was a little doubtful.
The goateed old man smiled bitterly: “This old man used to work on a ship prior to becoming a merchant. These ships are all pretty much the same so I know the general area.”
Things were desperate and there was no time to think too much.
The few people soon found themselves in the third layer of the ship. After twisting and turning, they seemed to have reached the rear of the ship and arrived in a crude hold. The old man felt around on the floor and lifted a plank, revealing a narrow hidden opening. There seemed to be a simple wooden ladder inside.
The old man chose to go down first. Luo Huai Yuan gave a signal and one of the guards followed after. Before long, that guard peeked his head out, “Master, there’s a boat down here.”
Luo Huai Yuan nodded and ordered Xiao An Zi and the other guard to go first. Then, he glanced at the hidden door and hesitated before stepping down.
It turned out that the reason he had them go first wasn’t because he was afraid the old man was playing tricks. It was because that door was too small. He estimated that he would fit, but it would definitely be a little difficult. For the sake of not letting anyone see his wretched appearance, he chose to go last.
It was really effing tight!
Luo Huai Yuan forcibly squeezed himself inside. Previously he never thought much of it when Yan Yan told him to lose weight. Now he felt that being fat was really a little cumbersome.
Xiao An Zi and the two guards were busy helping the old man and naturally didn’t pay attention to him. By the time Luo Huai Yuan walked over panting, no one thought much about it.
The boat wasn’t big, but it was different from the lifeboat Luo Huai Yuan imagined. It was around six to seven meters long and three meters wide. It had a mast and a sail as well as three sets of oars. Not only could they use the wind, they could also manually row.
Seeing this, Luo Huai Yuan had more confidence in escaping. He hadn’t dared to imagine how they would escape the pirates if the lifeboat was like the ones in the modern world.
He looked around. This was an enclosed hold. How were they supposed to get it outside?
There was no need for him to think further. The goateed old man felt around the wall. Soon, he called the two guards over and they exerted their strength to push the wall over.
The moist ocean wind blew against them, bringing in a fishy scent. The moonlight shone inside and Luo Huai Yuan realized that wooden wall had become the boundless ocean surface. At this time, the wall slanted downwards, becoming a sort of slide that the boat could use to enter the water.
Ancient people were really smart!
Time was pressing and they couldn’t think too much. The people pushed the boat into the water. The splash it made was extremely loud in the tranquil night. However, the people on deck were still traumatized and the vessel was over sixty meters long. No one noticed the slight movements near the aft of the ship.
The group walked along the plank and got onto the boat. The moment they sat down, Luo Huai Yuan urged them anxiously to get going.
The four of them didn’t know how to operate a boat so the old man had to do it. Luckily Luo Huai Yuan hadn’t driven him away. He had felt this old man was quick-witted and let him tag along. Otherwise, not only would they have trouble finding the boat, they also would have trouble using it to get away.
Therefore, even the best laid plans had shortfalls. They could only thank the heavens for not wiping them out!
There was naturally nothing they could do for the survivors on the deck. Luo Huai Yuan could be called ruthless or it was fine to call him cunning. He naturally could have reminded those people, but if he did so, it wouldn’t be certain if his own group could escape.
Everyone understood this reasoning and focused their efforts on rowing.
In the thick darkness of the night on the boundless ocean, the small boat silently left the vessel and swiftly sailed into the distance.
Luo Huai Yuan had guessed correctly.
This Kana Jougen had been temporarily fooled into escaping anxiously. He naturally considered whether it was a bluff. However, whether that person needed to bluff based on his status was one thing. Kana Jougen had also been truly shocked by Luo Huai Yuan.
After sailing away for a while, many of the pirates were making a ruckus. Not all of them understood Chinese after all and not all of them understood Luo Huai Yuan’s meaning. They merely watched as the fat sheep in their hands were released due to their cowardly leader.
Pirates were all bloodthirsty people who only focused on profits. Whoever gave them benefits and whoever could lead them to riches would be the leader. It wasn’t rare for them to take up arms against those who harmed their benefits.
Kana Jougen naturally understood these people’s nature. He forced himself to explain to the crowd and placate them. However, it didn’t seem to be very effective. In a flash of insight, he said that they had retreated for everyone’s safety. However, this retreat wasn’t really a retreat. They would hide and observe the situation. If they really had reinforcements, everyone would have escaped with their lives. If they didn’t, that boat was merely a piece of meat in their mouths.
This explanation finally placated the crowd. The pirates chose a suitable location to stop and snuff out their torches. Someone was ordered to keep watch with a telescope.
They waited and waited but no one showed up.
Those surviving merchants were also careless. They actually let the ship continue drifting in the open without taking any actions. Actually, they couldn’t be blamed. Luo Huai Yuan’s actions were too astonishing and they were waiting for the court’s troops to come save them. They didn’t know they had been screwed over.
Luo Huai Yuan’s coldblooded actions showed their effects. Kana Jougen was first wondering why the reinforcements hadn’t come yet before being furious at being tricked. However, what followed next was doubt. Since there were no reinforcements, why weren’t these people running?
For the sake of caution, he chose to wait a little longer.
This wait allowed Luo Huai Yuan’s group to escape a little further.
Only when everyone’s patience was at an end did the pirates come charging back. Kana Jougen naturally looked for the person responsible but Luo Huai Yuan had mysteriously vanished. After interrogating the others, they all said he had headed into the ship’s hold and didn’t know anything else.
Afterwards, one of Kana Jougen’s aides pointed out the wide open compartment in the aft of the ship. Kana Jougen incessantly roared about the deceitful nature of people from the Grand Xi!
In his anger, the survivors were completely massacred. The pirate ship took the merchant vessal and disappeared in the vast ocean.
As for Kana Jougen’s fury, it could only be left to fade over time.
“Hey, old man. Are you sure you know the way? We have nothing to eat on this boat. If we can’t find land soon, we’re really done for!”
Inside the small boat with a single sail, Luo Huai Yuan lay in the center with his stomach towards the sky. He was sprawled out without any regard for his appearance. On either side of him were Xiao An Zi, the guards and that old man. The four of them sat two on each side, taking turns at rowing the boat and mechanically steering it.
“It was dark back then and we didn’t have a compass guiding us. It’s already pretty good no one pursued us. Don’t keep harping about some minor errors. This old man is also hungry but I can only endure. Ultimately, you’re fatter than us so you should last longer.”
It was the middle of the day and the sun was bright. Unfortunately, there was nothing on the surface of the ocean. Looking around, they would occasionally see a couple of birds. There wasn’t anything at all, let alone land.
They were in a rush to escape previously and naturally didn’t bring food or water. Therefore, they had starved all night and throughout the morning. Furthermore, they had to row the boat without rest and were already exhausted. The reason they endured was because they wanted to live.
The ocean wasn’t like the land where food could be found everywhere. Here, there was only the ocean water, which was water than couldn’t be drunk. There were fish in the sea but they needed tools to catch them with.
Hearing the old fogey call him fat, Luo Huai Yuan sat up with a swish, saying angrily: “Who said fat people can endure hunger more? Don’t be too arrogant, old man. You should know everyone on this ship belongs to this granddaddy. We’ll throw you in to feed the fish if you aren’t careful.”
The old man tossed his oar aside and lay there, “Go ahead. Without this old man, you won’t be able to operate this boat. Weren’t you bullshitting about how influential your relatives are, brat? Why isn’t anyone coming to save you after so long? This old man is exhausted. Let me rest a little!”
“I already said it was fake. People look alike. This granddaddy was said to look very similar to the fourth prince in the capital. Everyone there knew about the Fusang people suffering at the fourth consort’s hands. We all saw them getting kicked out from the capital. I just happened to recognize the pirate leader as the head of the envoys back then. For the sake of survival, I managed to trick him. It’s their fault for being dumb mutts.”
This old man had been sucking up to Luo Huai Yuan previously, up until he said he wasn’t actually the fourth prince. Then, he stopped his respectful attitude. Luo Huai Yuan naturally needed to hide his identity. Otherwise, if this was spread back in the Grand Xi and used by others, what awaited him was an endless abyss.
It wasn’t hard for Luo Huai Yuan to mouth off and mix truth with lies. Even if this old man was also cunning, he was still tricked.
As he spoke, Luo Huai Yuan smiled bitterly inside.
That’s right. Who would have thought the mighty fourth prince of the Grand Xi, the Yun Prince, would end up in such a situation? Who knows if Yan Yan would feel sorry for him if she knew what he was going through?
Thinking of this, he couldn’t help but fantasize about encountering a merchant vessel and returning to the Grand Xi. He would cry in his wife’s arms and complain, making her feel sorry for him and cherish him, and then he would do this and that…..
Wu, Ah Yan, I really miss you….
When the merchant vessel was reported missing, two days had already passed.
Merchant vessels returning to Ryukyu’s main island had specific timeslots. The navy’s warship was still waiting to escort it back to the Grand Xi. However, they didn’t see any signs of it and didn’t receive any news. The navy immediately contacted Yeluo Island. After a round of investigation, they finally found out that it had gone missing.
Without mentioning Yeluo Island’s reaction for now, the navy had blown up. Without considering the missing ship and merchants, there was someone on that ship Commander Xie had repeatedly urged them to keep safe. If that person was gone, how were they supposed to answer to him?
Since the ship went missing in Yeluo Island’s territory, they were responsible for the investigation. The navy warship sailed back to the Grand Xi and reported the information. Not only was Xie Mao unable to sit still, even Shen Xuan and Shen Qi were the same way.
Shen Xuan didn’t waste any words and sent over ten of the navy’s ships towards Ryukyu’s islands. They set up a net around the area and started searching. Yeluo Island had always been stubborn about their borders, but for some reason they didn’t raise any objections this time. They even helped with the search.
These actions made the entire area start boiling over. Ryukyu’s monarch had also sent envoys over asking what was going on. The navy’s answer was extremely firm. The pirates were too rampant and dared to repeatedly plunder the Grand Xi’s vessels. This couldn’t be tolerated and they had come to exterminate them.
The missing vessel was naturally linked to pirates.
The pirates around Ryukyu’s islands ended up suffering calamity. Within ten short days, they were repeatedly attacked. Furthermore, it was a combined effort of the navy and Yeluo Island which continued without end.
The people on Yeluo Island were very confused.
Yeluo Island was a gray area and they did black market business. They naturally welcomed everyone.
To put it simply, pirates mostly plundered goods. Those goods would have to be sold off one way or another in exchange for supplies like meat, grain, alcohol, clothes, weapons and other things. They naturally needed a place to exchange. Where did they do so? In black markets like the ones on Yeluo Island.
Yeluo Island accepted the goods plundered by pirates. They were businessmen after all and focused on making money. The pirates sold goods cheaply and the quality wasn’t any worse. They could easily turn a large profit. Only fools would refuse this business.
In recent years, Yeluo Island’s black market grew larger and larger. The business with pirates had dwindled. The ratio continued to decrease but no one, including many on Yeluo Island, was aware of this.
Therefore, the people on the island were very confused why the “fourth lord” would cooperate with the navy and exterminate pirates with great fanfare. The reason Yeluo Island could make so much profit was also in part due to those small pirates.
Towards these doubts, the fourth lord merely smiled faintly and didn’t say anything. Only when those close to him asked did he reveal his intentions. The Grand Xi had lost someone important. If they to avoid getting swept up in calamity and remain safe and sound, they should obediently cooperate.
The fourth lord rarely spoke in front of others. He always made his own decisions. However, due to his wisdom and skillful methods, his subordinates were extremely respectful of him. Since he had spoken, they would obey and ultimately didn’t try and spoil things.
His subordinates left, leaving only the fourth lord in the hall.
This Yeluo Island used to be foreign soil. However, due to its close proximity, most of the buildings were modeled after those of the Grand Xi. Especially the estates in the outlands which were completely constructed based on the Grand Xi’s style. They were richly ornamented and lavish. Coming here made it feel like being back at the Grand Xi.
The atmosphere was very tranquil. The fourth lord held his teacup and slowly stirred the suds.
He was extremely young, around thirty years old. He looked handsome and elegant, but also had a steady air.
Yeluo Island’s fourth lord rarely showed his face in front of others. Only those close to him knew that the black market’s leader, this fourth lord, actually looked so pretty.
Suddenly, someone walked out from behind the screen.
This person was thick and sturdy, his body well-built and his skin tanned. He looked vigorous and powerful. At first glance he seemed a little frightening. After taking a closer look, his youth was clear to see, with some immaturity between his brows.
“Bro, I don’t care. You must help me find little fatty. Ah Yan has just gotten pregnant. If we lose the dad, what should my niece Niu Niu, who I have yet to meet, and my nephew in the stomach do? I don’t dare tell Ah Yan about this matter!”
Haha, the previously mentioned fourth lord wasn’t just filler for the chapters. Everyone can guess who he is. It was foreshadowed earlier.