Chapter 46 Huge Bribery Gifts
Early morning of the second day, Lin Qi who was in high spirits rushed into Enzo’s room and stuffed a big handful of snow into the latter’s blanket. The hungover Enzo issued a sad and shrill howl and pathetically scurried out of the blanket.
Being tormented by Lin Qi like this, Enzo immediately became reinvigorated. He hurriedly took a bath, then changed his clothes. The newly dressed Enzo enjoyed an extremely crude breakfast. After burping in satisfaction, Enzo chewed a mixture of betel palm and tobacco as he followed behind Lin Qi and his father. They were escorted by dozens of bodyguards; some sat in a carriage, others rode fine horses as they majestically descended the Black Beech Hill.
All of Dunerk’s big and influential families resided around Black Beech Hill, except for the mayor, Baron Mirro, and his family who stayed in a residence attached to the City Hall. Despite having the highest authority in Dunerk Port, Baron Mirro was a foreigner through and through. His hometown wasn’t really Dunerk, so although he had been serving as the Mayor for ten years, Baron Mirro hadn’t purchased any property in Dunerk.
Sitting inside a spacious and luxurious carriage was Blackbeard who was holding a big cigar in his mouth while introducing Baron Mirro’s character to Lin Qi in a low and muffled voice.
Although he never purchased any property in Dunerk, Baron Mirro really wasn’t as honest as he appeared to be. In fact, he was an extremely greedy man. However, he intentionally built an exceptionally honest image of himself so he had been staying in the Mayor’s official residence provided by the imperial government all along.
But according to the information Blackbeard had, in Baron Mirro’s hometown, Black Stone City, which was located less than 150 kilometers from Dunerk, he had already acquired a huge amount of land and bought seven fertile manors. Merely the number of female servants he bought during these ten years was close to a hundred.
This man was old! As a 70-year-old man; he should have retired already! Blackbeard waved his 34-centimeter-long cigar, puffed some smoke and loudly said, “To be honest, if he still doesn’t retire, then either he, his son, his daughter, or his wife will encounter an accident because of some mad horses!”
‘He has to retire!’ Blackbeard narrowed his eyes, snorted coldly, and said, “The profit he fished up over these last few years was big enough. He has to retire. A 70-year-old bastard, what else can he contribute to Dunerk? On the other hand, if I became Mayor, then Dunerk would undergo an enormous development: Dunerk’s economy would rapidly flourish; everyone would earn money.”
Lin Qi immediately said, “Of course, it will be with the premise that our family flourishes.”
Blackbeard readily nodded his head. He looked at Lin Qi in a very gratified manner, smiled, and said, “What you said is correct. Naturally, that will be the premise. If our family doesn’t earn any money, then don’t even think anyone in Dunerk will!”
Biting his cigar fiercely, Blackbeard vaguely said, “Now I’m merely the president of the Chamber of Commerce in the milling and hotel industry, but after I become the mayor, I will be the Chief President of Dunerk’s Joint Chamber of Commerce! At that time, humph!”
As the father and son pair discussed the matter of how to make a fortune after assuming the mayor position and Chief President of the Joint Chamber of Commerce position along the journey, the carriage had already arrived outside the Municipal Hall in the Dunerk City Center. Two guards wearing sky-blue military uniforms feebly stood in front of the City Hall door. Upon seeing the carriage and the dozens of bodyguards accompanying it, the two guards hurriedly crossed their spears together to stop the carriage.
Blackbeard angrily pulled open the window curtain, and his bearded face peeked out of the window. He coldly snorted towards the two guards.
The dispirited guards immediately became all smiles. They bowed deeply towards the carriage and cleverly stepped aside. Who among the residents of Dunerk still couldn’t recognize Old Man Blackbeard? He was a powerful figure who was running for the Mayor position. Furthermore, there was basically no one in Dunerk who could compete with Old Man Blackbeard for this position. His influence was too great!
Dunerk was a port city, the empire’s third biggest port, as well as the only ice-free port in the northern part of the empire during winter. It was the most important distribution centre in the northern part of the empire and even in the northern part of the continent. Old Man Blackbeard had an extremely high prestige among the sailors and ship crews. He was practically their generally acknowledged, uncrowned king. Once he gave an order, it could decide the whole port’s entire operations. A figure like this wanted to run for mayor: which idiot would dare to compete with him?
“The only problem now was whether that old vampire Mirro will endorse my name.”
Old Man Blackbeard wrinkled his brows and exhaled a mouthful of thick smoke. He deeply sighed with slight worry and said, “Our family doesn’t have anyone to help us speak up over at the imperial capital. This problem is quite a headache. If we have this old fool Mirro’s recommendation, then things will be ninety percent certain.”
The carriage stopped in front of the door of the mayor’s official residence. Two attendants, wearing neat uniforms and sets of ash-grey wigs and adopting the arrogant bearing of imperial family retainers, leisurely stepped forward to welcome the carriage and slowly opened its door.
Blackbeard blew out thick smoke, his huge stature swaying as he strode out of the carriage. Lin Qi patted Enzo shoulder, and then the two of them, one in front and one behind, walked out. Tu Dao, who followed in the rear, jumped down his horse, brought some men to open the rear carriage and removed quite a lot of things from inside.
Never mind the tightly bundled spices and tea leaves from the East, each and every one of which cost a lot of money; never mind even the brocade silk, a roll of first-class brocade that could be sold at an extremely high price of a thousand gold coins in the imperial capital when in great demand. What attracted people’s gazes the most was the thing Tu Dao personally took out, a set of 240 tablewares including soup bowls, rice bowls, small plates, spoons, and so on; their colors were like the blue sky, their porcelain surfaces were decorated with mysterious and transparent speckles as thin as raindrops.
A set of porcelain like this was a best-seller in the imperial capital. It was sufficient to be presented to aristocrats with rich family backgrounds and be exchanged for more than seven hectares of top-quality vineyards. The value of a set of porcelain like this could not be measured with gold. In fact, measuring the value of this complete set of porcelain that came from the East and could be described as a work of art with gold coins was simply an insult to it.
Just those spices, tea leaves, and silk already made the attendants’ pupils dilate. When they saw the set of mysterious-looking porcelain, even their breathing abruptly sped up; their attitudes also became even more refined and courteous. Towards Blackbeard and Lin Qi, the respect and cautiousness they showed was as if they were meeting the King.
A fake hearty laugh could be heard from the distance. With a bent waist, an old man wearing a plain black robe without the least bit of accesories all over his body came in large strides to welcome the guests. The old man sharply gazed over those gifts. That shrivelled face of his suddenly showed a charming red color.
“Esteemed Mister Tiger, you’re too courteous! May the gods bless and protect you, your wishes will certainly be fulfilled!” The skinny and old Baron Mirro joyfully and heartily laughed.
Blackbeard laughed even more cheerfully. He grumbled under his breath, “If my wish is fulfilled, your whole family would already be shark food!”
After grumbling, Blackbeard spread both of his hands and laughed loudly and heartily towards Baron Mirro in greeting.