Chapter 2506: The Hyenas
Therefore, during the nights haunted by bad dreams and in the days that were dizzying, Huo Dongling, just like her father as well as all the crew on Little Bear, began to hate the boundless universe outside, the units onboard that were squeaking and spurting out variegated gas now and then, and the headaches and nausea after the short-distance space jumps.
Of course, what she hated most of all was the passengers, particularly the aggressive, arrogant, and impolite mercenaries among them.
Little Bear was a cargo ship. The passengers were not from their hometown but boarded on the starship on the ports when it refilled fuel and supplies on the way.
As long as the passengers could pay for the space jumps, the cargo ships generally wouldn’t refuse to give them a lift. Besides, most of the passengers were the ferocious-looking Immortal Cultivators with blades, who claimed to be in the Refinement Stage or the Building Foundation Stage. The small folks such as Huo Dongling could never have the courage to refuse them.
In such a chaotic time of war, the passengers who were bold enough to hitchhike to the Seven Seas Grand Market were certainly not the most harmless people.
They were either the loose prisoners who had been sentenced to death, or the desperate people who were bankrupted, or the assassins, mercenaries, and space pirates who made their living through fighting. Some of them were even the spies loyal to the four Kurfürst families. All kinds of people could be found in them.
Among them, the most disgusting of all was the mercenaries who traded their lives for money.
It was evident that those mercenaries did not have a thriving career since they did not even have their own warship and could only travel on a civil starship like Little Bear.
However, it could not stop them from talking and laughing loudly, discussing the sophisticated issues while unsheathing their chainswords and vibration sabers now and then. When they were looking at Huo Dongling, the ugliness in their scorching eyes was undisguisable.
Those bottom-level mercenaries were like gorillas whose hair was not cleaned—the gorillas that happened to be in the mating period.
Huo Dongling felt like throwing up whenever she smelled their stink.
However, she had to hold back her disgust and delivered food for the passengers with a partner from her hometown.
Little Bear was a cargo ship. Naturally, there were no waiters or waitresses. Even the daughter of the captain did not have any privilege but had to do her part.
As she expected, the moment she opened the gate and entered the murky cabin, she could already hear the unrestrained laughter of the gorillas.
There wasn’t any special guest cabin on Little Bear, but a rather large space in the cargo cabin had been cleared to accommodate the passengers. While other passengers were crouching in the corner, silently considering their own business, the mercenaries had occupied the center of the cargo cabin, playing their weapons and bragging about their feat enthusiastically.
“… The neck was so thick that it was like a tree, but it became two parts after a single flash. When the head hit the ground, it could still talk. Blinking the eyes, it said, ‘It’s you, the Lightning Saber!’”
A mercenary whose front teeth were missing patted his thigh and laughed crazily. “Why, who else could it have been? What could’ve been so fast if not my Lightning Saber? Haha! Hahahaha!”
“It happened to me once too. I encountered an idiot who was determined to fight over a woman with me, but he chickened out and fled the moment I drew my sword!”
Another mercenary, who was tall, slim, and had fair skin, hooted, “Flee? Now that my sword has been drawn, is there any use in running? His feet were chopped off after he ran to twenty meters away! However, I did not kill him. It was not worthwhile just for a woman! The price for me to kill someone is at least three thousand star coins, and I do not accept the crystal coins of the Imperium. No, sir!”
“Have you heard of a very heated mercenary group named ‘Blood Rain Alliance’ in the Flying Crane Space Zone recently? They won a few victories in a row after they just joined the four families and swallowed multiple business teams of the Business Alliance of Ten Thousand Sectors. All their goods were looted by the Blood Rain Alliance. It was really a great fortune. Even their fingernails must be greasy now!”
The first mercenary whose front teeth were missing sniffed. “Their deputy captain is an old acquaintance of mine and followed me more than ten years ago. At that time, he was just an unnoticeable shorty. Little did I expect that he would be so successful. Chances are that he will accept the medals of the four families in a couple of days. Hehe. How lucky of him!”
“Exactly. The four families have raised their prices when they recruit soldiers everywhere. The small fries who did not do so well are all making a fortune. Speaking of which, this is truly the most splendid time for us mercenaries. We should really thank you for the great time!”
The fair-skinned mercenary remarked with mixed feelings. Then, he glanced at everybody up and down and said with a smile, “Right now, many brothers are going to the four families, but why are you going to the Seven Seas Grand Market, bro? Are you so confident that the Business Alliance of Ten Thousand Sectors will win?”
“I couldn’t care less about whether or not it will win!”
The first mercenary spat and said, apparently not thinking that it was a big deal, “All that I care is which party offers more reward, not who the final victor is! It’s true that the offer on the four families’ side has been raised a lot, but on the Business Alliance of Ten Thousand Sectors’ side, the price for someone in the Refinement Stage is twice the last month. For those in the Building Foundation Stage, it’s three times. As for those in the Core Formation Stage, you can name your price freely!
“The star coins can be transferred into shiny crystals easily. Why would I say no to those? When the situation does not look well, there is always the option of ‘battlefield uprising’. I can cooperate with the four families and tie up Jin Yuyan, the head of the Business Alliance of Ten Thousand Sectors. Chances are that I will soar to the sky in one leap and rise above the dummies who joined the four families earlier!”
“Bro, it’s true that great minds think alike!”
The second mercenary laughed like a crooked viper. “All in all, if the Business Alliance of Ten Thousand Sectors has a better chance of winning, we will take their money and fight for them dutifully. If the Business Alliance of Ten Thousand Sectors is about to be screwed, we will have a ‘battlefield uprising’ and turn the Seven Seas Grand Market upside down together with the four families. If even that is impossible, we can always seize a starship when the Seven Seas Grand Market is in chaos and get away. Who can do anything about us?”
“Great! That’s what I’m talking about!”
The many mercenaries clapped their hands and laughed aloud, not hiding their ugliness at all.
“However, ‘battlefield uprising’ is not so simple.”
The first mercenary lowered his voice and pretended to be mysterious. “You’ll at least need someone in the four families who speaks for you so that you will not be executed for military credit!”
“Of course I have.”
The second mercenary declared proudly, “There’s an advisor in the seventh branch fleet of the Yun family who is a descendant of the main bloodline of the Yun family and a legitimate baron of the Imperium. His name is Yun Ao, and he is my big brother. We’ve been keeping in touch. If there is anything, I can go to him. The intelligence about the Business Alliance of Ten Thousand Sectors can be sold to him too!”
“Baron of the Imperium?”
The first mercenary was amused. “Such an identity may be suitable for intelligence trade, but if you are thinking to count on him, that will be slightly, hehe…”
The second mercenary was apparently angered first, but rolling his eyes, he put on a smile again. “So to speak, do you have someone greater that you can count on, bro?”
The first mercenary intentionally halted for a moment. Hoping to subdue the mercenaries whom he had just met, he stopped building the suspense and simply smiled. “Do you know who the most heated expert with the most dominating fleet on the four families’ side is?”
“Who is it?”
All the mercenaries pricked their ears.
It was not until everybody leaned their heads close that the first mercenary shouted abruptly, “It’s Li Wuji, Marquess Yongchun!”
The mercenaries were indeed rather shocked.
A marquess was naturally way above a baron.
“Yes, it’s exactly His Lordship Marquess Yongchun.”
The first mercenary said gloatingly, “Haven’t you heard of it? Marquess Li recruited thirty famous pirate gangs at first and reorganized them into the ‘National Protection Army’, which was commanded by Boss Bai, captain of the Big Bai Pirate Gang.”
“The Big Bai Pirate Gang?”
On the food chain of the space desperadoes, those bottom-level mercenaries were the hyenas biting the decayed corpses at best. They were naturally shuddering in fear when they heard such a ferocious beast as Boss Bai.
“Yes, even Boss Bai was recruited by Marquess Yongchun. They also cooperated with each other and swallowed the Blue Sky Market!”
The first mercenary said, “The four families’ conquests on the peripheral markets of the Business Alliance of Ten Thousand Sectors were mostly blocked and did not go well, with heavy losses in multiple markets.
“Only the Blue Sky Market fell into the hands of Marquess Yongchun and the National Protection Army after only one fierce battle. Isn’t it the greatest accomplishment?
“That’s not all of it. I was told that when Marquess Yongchun and the National Protection Army were exhausted and out of supplies, the ‘Flying Rainbow Fleet’ from a new neighboring world intended to take advantage of them. Guess what happened? The Flying Rainbow Fleet was surrounded by Marquess Yongchun’s fleet and the National Protection army and swallowed as a whole!
“Nobody expected Marquess Yongchun’s troops to be so tough, but His Lordship did not stop after securing the triumph but burst into a fury after he was back to the command center of the four families’ coalition army, filing an indictment on the Flying Rainbow Fleet and lambasting ‘Marquess Bohu’ of the Song family, who was the endorser of the Flying Rainbow Fleet. He even spoke to Marquess Bohu and the other leaders of the four families openly that the Flying Rainbow Fleet fled in panic after being crushed by the National Protection army, only to be entirely destroyed when they accidentally ran into a space storm! He asked Marquess Bohu what he wanted to do. Of course, there was nothing that Marquess Bohu could do to Marquess Yongchun. After all, the victors always enjoy impunity!
“After the incident, Marquess Yongchun became one of the most famous people in the command center of the four families’ coalition army. Everybody knows that he is a… crazy tiger best not to be pissed off. Nobody has the courage to enter the Blue Sky Market easily.”