Luo Huai Yuan didn’t come back within a few months like he originally said. He remained in the Fu Province without returning these three years. His fourth prince estate had basically been forgotten. Since Emperor Xi didn’t recall this son of his, people in the palace naturally wouldn’t bring him up.
During this time, he had sent several letters to Yan Yan. They were all just to report that things were peaceful. Only after things truly couldn’t be concealed anymore did Yan Yan find out what he had experienced these years.
Luo Huai Yuan’s group went all the way to Fujian. The closer they got to the coast, the more desolate the towns.
Only at this moment did he understand the suffering of those being plundered. The pirates came ashore to cause chaos by killing, burning and looting. The commoners who were able to move had all moved already. Those who couldn’t move were the elderly or those without relatives in other areas.
In their situation, when they encountered pirates they could only give them whatever they wanted. It was fine as long as they kept their lives. Of course what happened next was left to chance. Some only wanted money but there were also quite a few terrible and malicious people. The households with daughters and women all left even if they had to resort to begging on the streets.
Nine out of ten houses were abandoned within their sight!
Since they couldn’t continue onwards, Luo Huai Yuan could only turn around and head to the area around the Fu Province Estate. Only then did they seem to have returned to civilization.
Luo Huai Yuan’s luck wasn’t good. Having just gotten to the Houren County, he was wandering the streets observing the customs of the area when he encountered a pirate attack.
To call them pirates also wasn’t too accurate. This was because apart from a few who babbled in Fusang language, the majority spoke Chinese and there were a few who spoke Korean, even though they all wore Fusang-style clothing.
There weren’t that many pirates in this group, only around twenty people. But they were like wolves in a pack of sheep. The street immediately grew chaotic. Screams, curses and wails sounded everywhere.
Luo Huai Yuan had grown up listening to stories of the Japs invading China in the modern world. Although this was no longer the world he was born in, hearing that damn language and seeing those short people’s getup, he couldn’t help his eyes from turning red and wanting to beat people.
Along with the tragic cries for help on the street, Luo Huai Yuan grew angry.
He grabbed a jug of wine or perhaps pickled vegetables from somewhere and threw it over, saying an extremely mighty line. “Fuck, grab something and get them!”
He thought he was using common jargon and that his orders would be obeyed without question. Unexpectedly, the four guards and Lady Hui all froze. Xiao An Zi had long since been frightened to tears, pulling at his arm with all his might to try and get him to run.
He pushed Xiao An Zi away and grabbed a stick. “Run your granny’s egg.1 How can we outrun them under these circumstances? Stop running. Grab something and fuck them up!”
The chaotic crowd saw a little fatty around ten years old holding a long stick leading the charge in beating a pirate who had fallen behind. He cursed while beating: “Fuck your grandad. Why don’t you learn to do good instead? Go reincarnate as livestock.”
He then cursed and spat at the crowd: “All of you grab something and get them. They only have these few people, and not all of them have blades. We can drown them in saliva if everyone spits on them.”
Actually these people were all instinctively frightened. They had heard how fierce these pirates were and that they killed people like flies. Seeing them appear, they didn’t have time to react before trying to run. They ran around wildly, trampling and shoving others.
If they calmed down, they would see there weren’t that many pirates. Apart from two of their leaders wielding katanas, the rest were using all sorts of weird weapons. Some used farming equipment and clubs. There were even some who used vegetable knives from some random households.
Luo Huai Yuan became calm after seeing the situation clearly. He even had the spare energy to teach others to grab sticks as weapons. He tore apart the peddler stands for the sake of a few bamboo rods.
With one person resisting, there would naturally be a second and a third. Some men felt they were too cowardly if they couldn’t even compare to a child. They grabbed a basket from a nearby stand and started fighting with the stunned pirates on the spot.
Having been influenced, everyone stopped running. They threw whatever they could get their hands on at the pirates.
The guards who came with Luo Huai Yuan were long since stunned. They seemed to have forgotten they were experts in the eyes of commoners. But since they were disguised as commoners, their inaction would at most make others think these unusually buff looking people were idiots who didn’t even know to run.
As for Lady Hui, a woman’s mind was more attentive. She didn’t help the crowd and instead headed towards the two people with katanas. People from Fusang with katanas were called Fusang Samurais, but were actually just refugees who weren’t able to muddle about any longer. They were naturally no match for an expert like Lady Hui.
In one exchange, their blades were taken away. A couple of kicks later, their legs were crippled as they lay on the floor.
Then came the crowd of angry commoners who smashed all sorts of things onto their bodies. The two from Fusang cried out loudly in words no one understood, their expressions tragic.
The pirate being beaten by Luo Huai Yuan was also unlucky. He was in the middle of herding the crowd with his group and laughing cruelly when he was smashed in the head with a jug out of nowhere. Right as he recovered from his daze, he heard a child calling for him to be drowned in spit.
These people were used to people fleeing before them and doing whatever they pleased. Encountering this exception, especially since he was a little fatty, they suddenly froze.
This moment plunged them into endless hell. They were beaten by people with large sticks in turn until they wanted to cry for their moms.
Luo Huai Yuan gave a wild round of beatings before finally venting his anger. He threw his stick down and kicked the guards by his side. He pointed with his chubby fingers. Only then did the guards snap out of it. They stepped up and effortlessly dealt with the rest until they couldn’t get up. They even tied them up in passing.
The curtains quickly fell on this scene. There weren’t many pirates to begin with. Even if they couldn’t win one on one, they could definitely win fifty or sixty against one. People hiding in the shops on the street also rushed out to help.
When the group of pirates were tied up on the floor, the crowd let out a resounding cheer.
At this moment, a group of soldiers came. From their getup, they seemed to be troops and bailiffs of the county yamen.
“You guys really came early!”
Why did these people only show up after everything was over? Was it to give the main character a chance to shine? Luo Huai Yuan’s thoughts were extremely nonsensical.
The leader of the troops saw a child speaking up from the crowd. He then saw that despite not being dressed wealthily, his aura was different from normal people. He straigtened his attitude before speaking.
“This little brother, it wasn’t that we delayed. The truth is several waves of pirates appeared in the county and we didn’t have enough manpower.”
Discussion broke out among the crowd.
“These pirates actually came over to Houren County?”
“Weren’t they at the Changle County a few days ago? Why did they come over here so quickly?”
“What is the county yamen good for? You didn’t even realize the pirates have entered the town?”
“This won’t do, this won’t do. I have to move away from here.”
People were saying everything and there was a clamor.
The bailiff and the troops smiled bitterly. These pirate raids were all conducted with inside information. The pirates would first send spies inside before finding the opportune moment to invade and plunder. Such a thing naturally couldn’t be said to the commoners. They could only do their best to protect them and get the wounded some medical attention.
Once the situation was cleared up, it turned out there were no fatalities!
They had hurried over from the west side of town, and along the way there were countless dead and injured. Only after asking about the situation did they understand how this came about. The people all looked at Luo Huai Yuan in a different light.
The leader of he troops stepped up and cupped his hands in salute. “This little brother is extraordinarily heroic. If all the people had your courage and valiance, we wouldn’t have to worry about being plundered.”
These words were heartfelt. Although the pirates invaded, the majority of their forces wouldn’t be sent to small places like this. They would all be attacking and looting the county capitals. Those who ended up here were all scattered groups, and there were only a couple dozen each time. However, just these dregs were able to ruin the townfolk’s lives.
The pirates were hard to track and engaged in guerrilla tactics. The troops of various areas were scattered and worn out, and weren’t of much use. If the commoners could courageously resist, the losses wouldn’t be as heavy.
Prior to coming, they had tallied up the numbers by the western gates. There were countless who were hurt or killed due to being trampled. Others were killed by the pirates. In less than fifteen minutes, there were hundreds of casualties. As for the pirates responsible, there were only around twenty people.
Seeing that this person’s expression was off, Luo Huai Yuan couldn’t help but ask: “Heavy casualties in other places?”
That person’s eyes turned red. He stamped his foot and could only say it was tragic.
These troops were all born and raised in this area. The people who had been laughing and joking with them days before now suddenly encountered calamity. This wasn’t even considering they had lost several among their ranks as well. How could their hearts not ache?
They heard Luo Huai Yuan’s group was here looking for relatives and didn’t have a place to stay yet. The county was currently a mess and all the taverns and inns were closed. These people invited him to stay at the county yamen.
Luo Huai Yuan didn’t refuse. Since it was a mess everywhere, they might have to sleep on the streets if they couldn’t find a place.
At the yamen, the reception was filled with injured citizens. Luo Huai Yuan’s group only got two rooms. The troops that brought them there were ashamed but Luo Huai Yuan waved his hands and indicated he didn’t mind.
In the past, having lived a life of luxury he naturally wouldn’t have let himself suffer like this. But this wasn’t like before and they were also out of options. Didn’t you see the hall filled with people?
He and Xiao An Zi weren’t that old, and thus stayed with Lady Hui in one room. The guards stayed in the other room.
The next day as they were about to leave, the soldier called Qin Shan suddenly came to see them.
After they arrived yesterday, Luo Huai Yuan also realized Qin Shan wasn’t an ordinary soldier. He was the administrator of this hundred-household area. There were ten minor administrators under him, so he counted as a minor military official. However, Luo Huai Yuan was used to brushing shoulders with royalty so an administrator was just a minor soldier in his eyes.
The two of them chatted a little before Qin Shan brought up the reason for his visit.
It turns out the county magistrate Ruan Da Tong wanted to use Luo Huai Yuan as a role model and give him a commendation.
This idea was brought up by Qin Shan as well, so Luo Huai Yuan could only accept.
Qin Shan was responsible for the hundred households in this Houren County as well as the safety of the nearby villages. Unfortunately, there were only over a hundred or so people within these hundred households. In the area around the villages, a group of people can easily vanish within the crowd. Epsecially since the pirates raided randomly and it was impossible to know where they would appear next. They had spies for sure to be able to choose the areas with weakened defenses every time.
Qin Shan was very moved about what happened yesterday. He deeply felt the commoners’ strength was more important. What he said yesterday was true. If everyone could be courageous, there was no need to worry about the pirates.
Especially since this was the right time to stir up people’s hearts and motivate the commoners.
Luo Huai Yuan listened for a while before realizing they planned to “commend those who took the initiative” and set up a precedence. They wanted to use this to encourage the commoners to protect themselves and work with the authorities to repel the pirates?
As for why they chose him instead of someone else, Qin Shan also gave him an answer.
One was because there were many people at the scene yesterday who had witnessed Luo Huai Yuan’s heroism. This young man had taken the lead in fighting it out with the pirates. Another reason was because of his age.
Fine, there were benefits to being young.
Think of it this way. If the people saw that a young teenager had the courage to fight the pirates, they would wonder what all the men were doing. They would definitely feel ashamed and call themselves cowards. They would also be stirred up by the success in the southern part of the town yesterday. The next time the pirates attacked, everyone would be a little less frightened and a little more courageous.
This was a good deed, and since it didn’t cost him anything, Luo Huai Yuan accepted despite being embarrassed.
Luo Huai Yuan had never been given a commendation before. Today counted as a new experience for him.
The town was filled with crying and white banners were hung everywhere. The atmosphere was depressing and there weren’t many people on the roads. There was a simple and crude stage erected in front of the county yamen’s doors. Bailiffs were swiftly running along the streets while beating gongs. Before long, everyone in the town knew there was a matter that required everyone to assemble.
Around half an hour later, the area in front of the doors were filled with the townfolk.
The magistrate was a wizened man who had a goatee. Together with administrator Qin Shan, they appeared on the stage. There were two round chairs on the stage and the two of them sat down.
At the sound of a gong, the crowd fell silent. The county deputy held a piece of document and read it out loud in a clear voice.
The crowd generally understood the intentions of those above. They were planning to commend the heroic teenager in front of the crowd. Everyone had heard what happened by the southern gates. It was said a teenager who was only around twelve had led the crowd in fighting back against the pirates. The casualties were tragically high in the other areas. Although the southern gates had quite a few injured, not a single person had died.
Under such miserable circumstances, this was already extremely good news. Therefore, the people didn’t raise any objections to the officials commending a teenager instead of figuring out how to deal with the pirates.
Soon, a plump teenager with a chubby face and round eyes appeared on the stage. He had a crimson flower tied to his chest.
Cheers sounded from both on and off the stage. The bailiffs and soldiers cheered to support their superior’s interests but the crowd cheered for real.
This town wasn’t large and if anything major happened, everyone would know within half a day. Although what happened yesterday made them feel a lot of grief, it also gave them hope. Many people wondered after the fact that if they hadn’t run, and had fought the pirates like those at the southern gates, would things have turned out better?
This question was worth serious consideration.
Luo Huai Yuan squirmed on stage and felt like dying. Although he had been prepared, he still didn’t expect it would be such an embarrassing scene. There was even that flower made of red cloth on his chest. He wasn’t some fat pig that was about to be used as an offering.
Lady Hui pursed her lips in a smile below the stage. Xiao An Zi also squinted from smiling and the guards couldn’t resist doing so as well.
Luo Huai Yuan stood there foolishly, continuing to listen to the deputy speak as if reciting.
In a flash, he understood. This so called “motivational speech” wasn’t stirring at all. He glanced at the magistrate and Qin Shan’s expression. The magistrate seemed to be alright with it. He had a legal background and this sort of rote speech suited him rather well. Perhaps he was the one who wrote the script. Qin Shan didn’t look too happy but he also wasn’t in charge here. What could he say about it?
With this kind of motivational speech, it would be weird if it was effective!
Suddenly, Luo Huai Yuan was gently pushed from behind. A bailiff quietly told him to step forward.
The deputy extended a hand and looked encouragingly at him. “This little brother Chen Yun. How about saying a word or two to everyone?”
Chen Yun was the fake name Luo Huai Yuan used on this trip. It was his name in the modern world.
Luo Huai Yuan raised his brows, “You’re really going to let me speak?”
The deputy nodded, the magistrate nodded and Qin Shan nodded as well.
Luo Huai Yuan took a deep breath and stepped forward, looking at the crowd below. There were quite a lot of peole standing there with all sorts of expressions. Some were impatient, some were depressed, some were numb, but the majority looked at him with goodwill, praise and adoration.
Suddenly, several cheers sounded. Luo Huai Yuan looked over and saw some familiar people. They seemed to be his “comrades” at the southern gates yesterday.
“Hurry and cheer for little bro Chen. If it weren’t for him, the southern gates might have also suffered tragic losses yesterday. A grown fellow like this old Qian only knew to run and panic at the time. I’m not even as heroic or daring as a teenager!”
There was a wave of applause and cheers.
He had never been praised so much before!
Luo Huai Yuan wiped away his imaginary tears of emotion.
He revealed a very wide smile and slowly spoke: “Actually, standing here I feel extremely ashamed in my heart. This is because I’m not as brave as everyone thinks I am. I also get scared.”
The deputy and magistrate looked at each other. They wanted this teenager to raise the people’s spirits, not dampen them! They wanted to pull the child back but how could they mess up their own event?
The magistrate glared at his deputy and said quietly: “Did you not tell him beforehand what he should say?”
The deputy shrunk his neck and didn’t dare speak. There was so little time, how could he tell him what to say? Of course he had mentioned it to this fellow before, but before he had finished speaking, that fellow had nodded in understanding. The deputy thought that someone who was able to make such a move yesterday wouldn’t be an idiot. Unexpectedly, this was the resulting scene.
The magistrate smiled rigidly and glared at Luo Huai Yuan’s back, wishing he could swallow him up.
Luo Huai Yuan continued to prattle on, embellishing how scared he was back then.
“….at that time my legs were weak and my heart was frightened. I wondered how I could make it up to my mom if I were to die….”
Suddenly, his tone changed. “But in that situation, there were so many people on the street. Running wouldn’t solve anything. When I picked up that stick and struck the pirate, I suddenly realized they are human too. They are human like us. They are human with hands and feet, who can feel pain, bleed, and feel fear.”
All at once, things fell silent. Everyone seemed to have some thoughts as they listened quietly.
“I’ve heard a lot about how scary these pirates are, how cruel they are and how inhumane. They burn, kill and plunder, commiting all sorts of crimes. Before even seeing them, the moment someone cried out the pirates have come, we were all subconsciously terrified. Just like those vicious dogs. They haven’t really done anything, but merely gritting their teeth and revealing their fangs is enough to make people feel they are vicious. Why is this the case? It’s because everyone thinks of them as vicious in their minds. When you muster up your courage, pick up the stick or grab a vegetable knife, and put on an even more vicious appearance than them, you will see these vicious dogs are all bark and no bite. They run with their tails between their legs. Why? Because they can also feel fear….”
Everyone was stunned. These words were casual and easy to understand. Not only could the educated people like the deputy and magistrate understand them, but even the elderly and children in the crowd could as well. These words were spoken as if he was just chatting, but they were exceptionally moving?
Qin Shan clenched his fists in his chair, his bloodshot eyes seeming to agree.
That’s right, they are also human! They also feel fear, bleed, and die!
“….the pirates currently plunder everywhere. They are lawless, they are bandits, and they are the evildoers who ruin our homes. They have harmed our family and they have killed our friends. They have stolen our goods and seized our women. Because we are weak, they glare at us like tigers watching prey, waiting for the opportunity to bite off a chunk of meat until we are torn apart and swallowed up…”
“I just want to ask one thing. Are you willing to let this tragedy continue?”
These voicese were a little hesitant at first and weren’t in sync. After some adjustment, they matched up. People had reddened faces and the veins on their necks were popping. It was clear they were roaring with all their might.
“Are you willing?”
The cries shook the heavens.
Even the elderly men and women raised their canes and agreed loudly.
“Great! Then this is the moment we make a stand!”
This commendation ceremony was more successful than imagined.
The whole town was riled up. Luo Huai Yuan’s words could be heard repeated on the streets, admonishing peole into being unable to raise their heads.
“They are lawless, they are bandits, and they are the evildoers who ruin our homes. They have harmed our family and they have killed our friends. They have stolen our goods and seized our women. Because we are weak….”
These words spread further than expected, and could almost be used as a rallying cry.
Qin Shan forged the metal while it was hot, and organized training sessions for the county’s commoners. The hope was if pirates invaded again, everyone would be able to smash a couple of bricks at them. The county’s spirits were boosted and inspired.
As of now, Fujian started resisting the pirates on all sides. The county magistrate Ruan Da Tong reported this matter to his superiors so he could get some merits.
The people truly needed a figure to inspire them. Luo Huai Yuan was given the title and commendation of the “pirate-fighting little hero”. This matter was spread throughout every county in Fujian.
No one expected Luo Huai Yuan to have such a debut after reaching the Fu Province.
But since things had developed to this extent, he no longer had the choice to turn back. He could only be protected everywhere he went and get paraded around like a mule, receiving commendations here and there and speaking of his deeds.
He had come to earn money and do business. How did he become a pirate-fighting little hero?
Actually Luo Huai Yuan was secretly pleased. Especially since everyone looked at him with reverence after his matter was spread.
To say he wasn’t pleased would definitely be a lie.
Afterwards, he heard another phrase that was spread far and wide. He could only cringe.
It was the line “fuck, grab something and get them” and “grab something and fuck them up”. This was developed to the extent that marketplace brawls would also open with these lines.
Of course, this was something for the future.
This disturbance lasted for half a year before quietening down.
At this time, the pirate-fighting little hero Chen Yun had already gotten an audience with the Fujian Capital Office’s Commander Xie using his own abilities. Only then did Luo Huai Yuan bring out his letter and hand it over to Commander Xie.
This was the letter the little consort had given to him prior to him leaving.
Commander Xie was very stunned after reading it. He hadn’t expected the old lord duke’s younger generation to have become the locally renowned pirate-fighting little hero. Luo Huai Yuan rubbed his nose and awkwardly described the series of events. He only had one wish at the moment. Was it possible to not be paraded around anymore?
Commander Xie laughed loudly. He patted Luo Huai Yuan’s shoulder and said to leave it to him.
Spoilers for side characters in Counterattack of the Cannon Fodder Chambermaid, and similarly kind-of spoilers for main character’s outcome in this novel. If that was ever in question.
Wanted to let little fatty come back directly, but since it involves the plot moving forward we need to mention some of what he’s been up to. Of course it won’t be written about in detail, but it can’t be left out. Those who read the chambermaid novel should know that the little fatty takes his family overseas to play in the end. Of course this was originally his escape route. Since Repressed Jing hasn’t appeared yet, the little fatty is aware that he doesn’t have the ability to seize the throne himself. Therefore, he prepared an escape route. If he really couldn’t hold on, he will effing run. Although all the land under the heavens belong to the emperor and all the people are his subjects, what if I run overseas? Hehe, this is his backup plan. He should be about able to return in the next chapter. The capital’s scene is about to begin.