Chapter 21: Selling Horses
Gao Feihu had to admit, even though the writing on that paper was rough and shallow, it is very alluring indeed. Even he was somewhat tempted.
And the thugs of the Flying Tiger Bandits have already started excitedly ripping the advertisements off of the trees.
“Oy, Laoba, I obviously saw it first, so why’d you steal from me!”
“Who’s stealing from you? You think it’s yours just because you saw it? Plus, you already have a horse, so why are you trying to take mine!”
“That horse is already old. Laoba, if you keep going, then don’t blame me for what happens next!”
Gao Feihu had no choice but to have everyone pull apart the two guys who were about to start fighting. This wasn’t exactly something unusual in their camp either. Seeing that all his minions were similarly tempted, he didn’t really have any way of stopping them either.
“Well then, let’s go take a look and see just what they’re up to.”
At this moment, all the bandit groups on the Blackbull Mountains have all basically joined the club. Doghead Peak, Bald Slope, Apricot Flower Peak and all the other camps were all discussing this matter as well. In the age before guns, horses are powerful tools of war, capable of directly raising the combat might of a bandit group. The advertisement that Cheng Dalei had personally penned did indeed get them right in the heart. Sometimes, having a horse directly represented might, majesty, and status.
Blackbull Mountains, Toad Bandits camp.
Cheng Dalei’s group stood guard in front of their camp’s gates and gazed far off toward the mountain path leading to them.
“Boss, do you think someone will really come?” Xu Shenji asked.
“Wait a bit. It’s going to take a bit of time for word to really get around.”
“Although I don’t quite understand what you just said, it does feel really logical.” Xu Shenji said.
Huang Sanyuan shuddered. That same bad feeling that he got before had reappeared. This new boss of his can’t be yet another Han Xuanzhi, right? How could he possibly be so plagued by misfortune that he keep on meeting people like that…
“They’re here!” Xu Linger suddenly pointed down toward the path down the mountain.
Everyone’s eyes brightened. Before their eyes, around seven or so people were coming up the path. There was the Flying Tiger Bandits’ party, led by the brothers Gao Feihu and Gao Feibao, but their group weren’t the only ones. At that point, many others started appearing on the mountain path. They were the bandits of the various bandit groups. The small groups had two or three members, while the larger ones numbered over a dozen. Practically every group on the Blackbull Mountains had come.
“Quickly now, everyone get ready and make sure that nothing goes wrong.”
Gao Feibao was still riding his one eyed horse. Since that horse was blind in one eye now, it would often end up turning. The entire way, it would constantly end up moving in circles. One could say that it’s quite the feat just successfully riding it here. It really wasn’t easy.
“Oy, open up the gates already. I’m here to buy horses.”
“Qin Man, ready your bow.” Cheng Dalei spoke.
“Yes!” Qin Man notched an arrow and pulled back on the bow, aiming at Gao Feibao,.
Gao Feibao shuddered before getting off the horse and standing in front of his horse, “What, you’re not even leaving the remaining eye alone!”
Gao Feihu coughed lightly and spoke, “This brother of mine is a bit rough. There’s no need for boss Cheng to get angry here. We’re sincerely here to buy horses. See, we even brought the food for trade. So where are the horses? Should we be allowed to see them first.”
At this point pretty much all the other bandit groups have arrived. They’re all gathered in front of the Toad Camp’s front gate. Everyone looked tough and vicious, with curses hanging on their lips.
Cheng Dalei saw this and frowned slightly. Then, he suddenly roared out, “I know divine magic, letting me call down thunder…”
Instantly, silence fell. All those ruffians immediately shut up.
“Right, that’s more like it. Butler Huang, tell everyone the rules.” Cheng Dalei lowered his hands. He also knew that this particular trick likely won’t be working for much longer, so he needs to quickly develop the Camp.
Huang Sanyuan, seeing how effective Cheng Dalei’s words were, also gained some confidence. So the boss really does have a lot of rep here.
“This time, we’ll be doing a blind auction.”
“What’s a blind auction?” Gao Feibao asked.
“This friend here asked what a blind auction is. I’ll explain for everyone. Does everyone see that piece of red cloth over the gate?”
Everyone looked where Huang Sanyuan pointed. They saw that there was a red cloth hanging over the gate of the Toad Camp, completely covering said gate.
“For every horse we auction, we’ll first be taking the horse behind the gate. Then, everyone propose their prices, and the highest wins.”
“Doesn’t that mean that we won’t even be able to see the horse!”
“What if the horse behind is blind or lame.”
“What if you secretly switch out the horse we bought.”
The bandits started getting excitable. Huang Sanyuan’s voice couldn’t be heard over them anymore.
The bandits shut up. Cheng Dalei looked into the distance calmly. Best to use it as much as possible while it still works.
“Of course we won’t be doing any secret switching. The cloth lets light through, so everyone can see what happens behind the cloth. It’s just that you won’t be able to see exactly how the horse looks. As for whether you’ve managed to buy a good or bad horse, that really does depend on everyone’s luck then. Maybe you’ll be able to get a top class charger with very little. Of course, the opposite situation could end up happening. That’s just how gambling is.”
Huang Sanyuan swept his gaze around after finishing. Then, seeing that no one was talking, he nodded, “Since there’s no further questions, let’s start the auction proper. Please bring out the first horse.”
Everyone could see a horse being led out behind the red cloth. As for exactly what the horse is like, no one could see though.
“First horse. Starting the bid at a stone of food!” Huang Sanyuan struck the gong in his hands.
The various bandits looked at each other. Some of them haven’t even understood just how it all works. Since no one could see the horse, none of them dared to make the first bid. Cheng Dalei sat down on a large rock and started thinking to himself as he saw that scene: He didn’t go overboard and end up ruining the whole thing, did he.
“I bid a stone of beans.”
A clear feminine voice rang out. Cheng Dalei shook for a moment, not having imagined that here would be female bandits. He looked on over and saw a woman in cotton clothes with her hair bound in a long black braid. The most striking point about her is that she’s pale white… As white as the cotton in June, to the point where her veins were faintly visible beneath her skin.
“This one is the Apricot Flower Peak’s Little White Wolf.” Xu Shenji quietly whispered.
It wasn’t just Cheng Dalei either. None of the other bandits could tear their eyes from her. Someone even audibly swallowed.
“What are you looking at? Go home and look at your moms instead. Keep looking and I’ll cut your thing off and feed it to the dogs.” Little White Wolf pulled out a saber and waved it in the air a few times.
Even Cheng Dalei felt a cold sensation in his pants and he hurriedly closed his eyes and pretended to have been meditating.
“We just wanted to congratulate Boss White for being able to buy such a great horse for so cheaply. We admire you, really.” Gao Feibao grinned while covering his mouth. In his heart though, he thought, ‘what kind of good horse can a stone of beans yet you. It’s not even enough for a proper saddle.’
The various bandits whispered to each other. They all thought the same.
“Alright, the first horse is won by Boss White of the Apricot Flower Peak. Sir Lin, bring the horse out.”
Although none of the bandits had any real hope, they still couldn’t resist their looking over in curiosity. They watched as the gate swung open and a horse was lead out.
Countless people were utterly stunned. Some couldn’t even keep themselves standing upright.