Chapter 179 – Award
Between the fort’s interlinked inner and outer gates stood two slaves, a man and a woman. The man looked to be around 23 to 24 years old, while the woman looked younger by a couple of years. They both looked normal with no distinguishing features on them.
The two saw Zhao Hai coming out and immediately knelt down to salute to Zhao Hai. They both said, “Master Wanan.”
Zhao Hai nodded, waved his hand, and said, “Stand up and speak.” Only then did the two stand up, albeit their bodies were still bent, their expressions cautious as they did so.
Although these slaves knew Zhao Hai was kind, they had previously undergone enslavement education. Thus, when they saw Zhao Hai, they couldn’t even try to be impolite. They stood up after Zhao Hai told them, which was already very good progress for them. If it were normal slaves, even if they were told by Zhao Hai, they wouldn’t dare to stand up.
Looking at the two, Zhao Hai didn’t bother to be polite as he asked, “Are you the ones who wish to get married?”
The two people lowered their heads and bent themselves further down, then the man said, “Yes Master. We both want to get married. We seek the help of Master.”
Zhao Hai nodded and asked, “What are your names?”
Zhao Hai nodded and looked at them. “Alright, very good. Since you took the initiative to ask me to help you get married, it’s fine then. I will help you today. Grandpa Green, please prepare a gift to be given to them today.”
Green complied immediately. Meirin smiled and said, “This calls for a celebration. Master, I’ll go tell the slaves to rest for the day.”
The two slaves actually both knelt down together as the man panicked and said, “Master, we little ones don’t deserve such treatment. Our lives are cheap and Master allowing us to get married is already a huge fortune. We wouldn’t dare ask for any more from Master.”
Zhao Hai smiled and said, “It doesn’t matter. Since you are the slaves bought by Grandpa Green, and the first couple to be married, we should take this opportunity as well and make it as lively as possible. This isn’t just for the two of you.” The couple stood up afterwards.
Green led the couple away, leaving only Meg to stand beside Zhao Hai. Right now, Zhao Hai wasn’t missing anything, and his monthly income could feed a hundred people without a problem.
Zhao Hai didn’t help in the preparations and instead led Meg back to the fort’s living room and sat down. He had just told Green to give them whatever they needed, so if there was anything required for the preparations, Green could take care of them.
After they arrived in the living room, Meg poured a cup of tea for Zhao Hai and placed it on the table. Zhao Hai then told Meg, “Sit down, let’s talk about this wedding.”
Meg sat down, looked at Zhao Hai, and said, “Master, why did you do it in such a big way? Did you want the other slaves to see them?”
Zhao Hai nodded. He sighed and said, “Now that our Buda clan has selected these people, the slaves must be able to flourish, especially because they have been marked with the Buda clan’s brand which is impossible to remove. Since our conditions now is a lot better compared to before, the slaves acquiring the initiative to get married will be a good thing for us. The other slaves who are afraid to do so will slowly gain confidence, and this will be a good way to increase our population. Moreover, the lands I had improved is growing. At present though, it cannot be cultivated. I plan to give these lands to the slaves and have them pay some rent. That way, they can cultivate the lands and prosper for themselves.”
Meg was surprised for a moment. She looked at Zhao Hai and said, “Does this mean Master will restore the slave’s status back to civilians starting today? Furthermore, Master will also reward them with a piece of land that they will be renting?”
On the continent, farm renting was generally allowed only by civilians. Thus, if Zhao Hai said that these slaves could get land to rent, then Meg understood what Zhao Hai actually meant to do.
Zhao Hai nodded and said, “Yes, ah, it will be a good start. We can then slowly develop and grow the Buda clan. The present situation is somewhat wrong, so I will slowly let the slaves recover their civilian status in order for them to own their own piece of land. Having their own income will be something for them to look forward to.”
Meg grew up on the Ark Continent, and in their view Zhao Hai’s approach was akin to throwing out money. Everyone knew that a slave was the Lord’s clan property. If Zhao Hai restored their civilian status, then they couldn’t be regarded as Buda clan property anymore. This was just throwing out their own wealth.
However, what Zhao Hai said had some truth to it. Since the Buda clan would have such a joyous occasion, they would be able to inspire the enthusiasm of the slaves by a hundred percent and encourage them to work better to restore their status as civilians. They would be trained and then given a piece of land. Such opportunities were, no doubt, heaven for the slaves. Thus they would naturally strive hard to attain it.
Since Zhao Hai gave his all to succeed, then along with the help of the Space, the people of the Buda clan wouldn’t argue about what he said. Meg didn’t object either as she just nodded her head.
Zhao Hai turned around and looked out at the sky. He sighed and said, “Although at present our development is going well, there’s still a problem. If we let the world know who we are, then with our current strength, we will instantly lose. I just hope that one day, we can stand openly under the sun and tell the whole world that we are the Buda clan. Only then can we be considered to have really succeeded.”
Meg looked at Zhao Hai with teary eyes. “Don’t worry Master,” she said, “that day will surely come.”
Zhao Hai sighed and slowly close his eyes, sitting down on a chair to rest.
Meg’s heart was very upset since she knew that Zhao Hai wasn’t quite healthy. If not for the Space, she wouldn’t know what would have happened to Zhao Hai.
Since Zhao Hai had awoken, he’d been dragging his body around in order to create a better future for the Buda clan. This made him very busy, which made the people around him feel pained.
Zhao Hai was also really tired. Although he exercised a bit, his body really wasn’t healthy right now. Adding to the fact that he needed to tend to a lot of events, even if his body wasn’t tired, his mind would be. After sitting on the sofa, he soon fell asleep.
* * * * *
After an unknown amount of time, Zhao Hai heard someone calling him. He slowly opened his eyes, and saw someone that looked like Meg. Meg called out to him in a soft voice. Zhao Hai sat up and moved around a bit since he’d been leaning on the sofa for a long time. He moved his neck, then stood up and asked, “Are the preparations done?”
Meg nodded her head. “The tables are already arranged in the outer fort along with the food. Grandpa also prepared some ale. It seems like this will turn out to be really lively.”
Zhao Hai nodded. He then thought of something and turned to Meg. “Also, I remember that some time ago, we had prepared a lot of colored-paper. Are they still available?”
Although Meg didn’t know what Zhao Hai wanted to do with it, she still nodded her head and replied, “Yes, we still have those colored-paper we had bought earlier. If the slaves had any matters, it could be used to write announcements.”
“I will go to the study room,” Zhao Hai said, nodding. “Meanwhile, please prepare red colored-paper.” Meg immediately complied, even though she didn’t know what Zhao Hai wanted to do with them, and followed Zhao Hai to the study room.
Zhao Hai told Meg to cut the paper into a rectangular shape after arriving at the study room. He then personally inscribed congratulatory words onto the paper, along with the names of the couple and their date of marriage. With this, he had made this world’s first, simple, marriage certificate.
Meg had been observing what Zhao Hai was doing. Although she hadn’t understood it earlier, she had now somewhat gotten an idea after seeing the characters Zhao Hai had written. This made her feel a little strange.
This marriage certificate was very simple; just a piece of red paper with words written on it. Zhao Hai had only thought of this as a temporary thing, but he would have never thought that this would become a clan heirloom, and that this marriage certificate idea would slowly spread throughout the entire continent.
After making the marriage certificate, Zhao Hai and Meg went down the stairs and towards the square outside the fort. The square was a lot livelier now that the tables were placed. There were eight types of vegetable dishes on each of the square tables. Eight people could sit on each table and a barrel of ale was next to each of them.
This ale was a kind of relatively inexpensive ale on the continent. This was what civilians usually drank. Some time ago, Green had deliberately bought a little and was prepared to give the slaves some. In the end, it finally became handy now.
At this moment, the slaves sat at the tables as they waited for Zhao Hai and Green. Upon Zhao Hai’s arrival, the slaves immediately tried to salute to him, but he waved his hand to let them be at ease. Then he said, “Today is a wonderful day wherein Chee and Schee will be married. I would like to take this opportunity to let you all have this lively occasion.”
The slaves were glad for Chee and Schee, while the two of them were excited, albeit a little bit shy with red faces. Zhao Hai waved at the couple and said, “Chee, Schee, come here.” The couple immediately walked towards Zhao Hai.
Zhao Hai looked at the couple and smiled. “Very good. You are our Buda clan’s first couple in the Black Waste. With that, I will award you. Starting today, the two of you won’t be slaves anymore. Rather, you will both be civilians here in the Buda clan’s Black Waste. I will allow Grandma Meirin to gift you 7000 square meters of farmable land outside the fort. That will be the area you can farm. Later, you will only have to give us a fourth of your annual harvest, while the rest will be yours. Moreover, we will provide you with a room in the fort along with the necessities you will be needing. Later on, you can even have your own home.”
Zhao Hai’s words were breathtaking, aweing the slaves. They’d never thought that Zhao Hai would actually be this generous to Chee and Schee. He’d even give them a piece of land, so long as they pay the rent for it. For the slaves, this was very important.
Chee and Schee felt as though they were in a dream, and it took them a while to react. They quickly knelt down and bowed to show their gratitude to Zhao Hai.
-This chapter was MTL’ed. Please leave a comment for constructive criticisms and advice. Thanks.
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-Please check out the Editor’s footnotes, thanks.
- So I guess Wanan is some sort of customary name for the Clan Lord or Head of the family. Before, Evan had also been greeted as Clan Lord Wanan… What does Wanan mean? Well, The character 万 (wan) can mean 10 thousand while 安 (an) is secure, so I randomly think of it as “Master, may you live/reign for 10 thousand years” but that’s most likely incorrect. Wanan can also just mean “Rest assured” or “a sure thing” which makes no sense based on the context. Your guess is as good as mine. Googling 万安 gives you Wanan county…↩
- 启 – Qǐ. Chee was the best I could do… Unless there’s some weird way of pronouncing chee, it should fit…↩
- 喜 – Xǐ. Schee was the best… Sigh, they have such underwhelming names… By the end of this chapter and the next, I’ve regretted their names, but… Sigh.↩
- Old age medieval feudalism. The peasants ‘rented’ the land from the lords and paid the rent through a set amount of produce or sales each year, while the rest they could keep. When the industrial revolution came, these renters were kicked off the land, which was then turned into large scale production facilities manned by exploited workers taken from this landless peasantry class… The more you know.↩
- Oddly, the raws have Meirin here, but Meg is the one it should be referencing…↩
- Since people wish for me to keep these notes for conversions… This is 10 mu, which is 6666.67 square meters. I rounded up, which is rather cheaty, but meh. As long as I keep giving these sort of notes.↩
- Very generous. A fraction of the harvest is easier on the renters than a set amount each year. If there’s a problem with the harvest, a fourth is easier to give than, say, a set amount. Of course, if there’s a good harvest, then the amount the clan gets also goes up without them having to cheat and raise the amount the renters need to give them. It’s a good win-win situation due to the unique circumstances surrounding the Buda Clan now. Any normal clan would stick to the set amount version.↩