Black Merchant Caravan
Translated by Lickymee
Edited by IcePhantom, Anivyl
TLN: Seems like this web novel has been garnering quite a bit of publicity now…I feel embarrassed! >w<
“Black merchants are one of the most important people in this world. Without them, the living standards of monsters would never advance, and the future of the kingdoms would be lost.”——I always emphasised the importance of black merchants to the shopkeepers.
Ever since that day, we passed the days so peacefully that even I myself was shocked. Even though there were many things that I couldn’t do, as well as many things that I wasn’t used to, I still accepted that kind of life.
The most awkward thing was the language that she speaks sometimes, and the Chinese that I mumble to myself. They were totally different.
Even though we couldn’t understand each other, we still wanted to say something.
Other than that, there was the problem of salt. It was fine to live without sugar, but it was impossible to live without salt. Until I had a steady source of salt, I had to resort to licking the sweat from my body or drinking the blood of the animals.
If I continued to live like that, I would really become an insect myself.
Though due to the language barrier, I couldn’t express my needs to anyone. Still, there were always opportunities, for example, black merchant caravans.
Based on my records, it was the 5th day for me since I arrived into this world.
When I was overcome with boredom, I sat at the entrance of the cave, thinking about how could I get the chance to eat cooked meat smeared with salt, learn the language of this world, or even buy a pack of cigarettes.
At that very moment, a long, rhythmic blare of a clarion came from the foot of the mountain.
She was the one who moved first——She tightened the bowstring on her Turkish bow, wore her arrow quiver, and put on a black cloak.
Next, she went into a pitch-dark cave. Though I wasn’t allowed to enter the cave without her permission, I had already guessed that the cave was where I was bound and kept earlier.
I wasn’t so stupid that I wanted to destroy the trust I had painstakingly established between us anyways.
In the time that it took for me to finish a cigarette, she finally came out with a small bag in her hands. Just from looking at the tied-up bag, I could see that it was filled with some kind of coins. Other than spending it on regular expenditures, there wasn’t really any other use for it.
I didn’t really believe that Medusa would put the money in a bank.
What happened next was that she tossed the bag to me……
At that time, I didn’t know that the amount in that bag was, in actuality, a very large sum of money. The only question in my mind was ‘why would she give the money to me’.
Her cold hand held my forearms, which probably meant that she wanted to go out.
On the road, I, who was sensitive to bodily contact, slowly held on her forearms, moving little by little to her hands, until our fingers were finally deeply intertwined with each other.
Why was I the only one with the accelerating heartbeat?——were my thoughts at that time.
Soon, we reached a trail at the foot of the mountain.
Although I had been to a village market before, the scale of the black merchant caravan group really shocked me.
A line of black carriages which I couldn’t even see the end of! The total number of the carriages would easily be over 50! Spreading across the side of the road, each wagon was either covered with a black cloth or had a black canopy propped over it.
Just like Medusa, the customers were clad in black cloaks too, whilst the merchants all wore the same black top hats.
In that kind of scenario, the only things that had different colours were the merchandises on the shelves.
If I were to talk about the difference between a village market and the black market, then it had to be the creepy silence here.
It was as if the actions people made while purchasing did not require any exchange of words.The only sound that could be heard was the clear clinking sound of coins.
“Is this the legendary black market?”
I couldn’t help but sigh.
After following her to the lead carriage of the Black Merchants, as if to show this place off to me, we slowly sauntered from there.
The lead carriage was pulled by three horses, making me feel happy to see animals that were the same as the ones in my world.
I even thought of touching the horse’s mane, but immediately gave up on the idea when I saw the tame horse baring it’s beautiful fangs at me……
Other than having a few more horses than the other wagons, the lead carriage’s body had a plaque with a picture of a black sun painted on it.
The second carriage only had a small window, with a plaque hanging on the outside. On it was an easily understood illustration of the worth a gold coin, in silver coins, done in chalk.
Of course, I couldn’t understand the drawing, but it feels like it was not a small sum of money. Looking at the yellow gold coins in the bag (if they are really gold coins), I couldn’t help but feel like I was acquainted with a millionairess.
As a Medusa, she must have some plundered treasure, right?
From the third carriage onwards were the booths for merchant to sell things. In the booths, there were things ranging from spices to axes and even shields.
It looked like we could get everything we wanted today from there..
“Where is this weird pressure coming from?!” I muttered in my heart.
Ever since I arrived here, an uncomfortable feeling accompanied me——whenever I lowered my head, it felt like everyone was staring at me, when I raised my head, they would quickly look away.
“The hell you looking at. Never seen a human who had passed through from another world?”
“Is Medusa finding a human boyfriend a rare occurrence?”
Uh, fine, this is actually kinda rare.
But please stop staring at me. Aren’t those cloaked customers monsters too? At least I am human!
Talking about humans, the merchants were all made up of humans. Unfortunately, they couldn’t understand English nor Chinese, because when I was buying salt, saying ‘how much’ or ‘duoshaoqian¹’ proved to be useless.
As expected, language was an important factor. Regardless of which language, if I could at least learn one of them, I would be able to communicate with the people of this world.
Thus, after buying salt, I held her hands and pulled her to a booth that seemed like it was selling books.
It was also at that time that I bought books and pencils, or else it would have been impossible to remember these stories with just my brain alone².
Regarding the purchase of books, whenever I thought back about it, it was the first ‘intellectual boom’ I had since coming to this world.
Considering the fact that the one communicating with me everyday was Medusa, the one who was holding my hands, it could be said that I would have to leave all the teaching to her.
As someone with no knowledge of the language, I chose the thickest book with the most illustrations. Even in a different world, the way books are set up shouldn’t differ very much.
The thicker the book was, the more information it would hold. The higher the number of illustrations were in a book, the easier it would be to understand the content.
Thus, the plan of using illustrations to learn the language from her was formed in my head.
After an hour or so, the number of customers gradually decreased. I started counting the gains today——2 big sacks of things.
A spice that tasted just like salt, some other spices that were popular, two sets of cheap clothes, shoes made of linen, a book, pencils, and a bunch of stuff that looked useful but I was not sure how they were used .
Looking at what we bought, we had spent around 4 gold coins, with a change of 21 normal coins. These normal coins weren’t made of gold, and each side had something designed on it. On one side, there was a signet relief, and on the other side, there was a cameo portrait.
This currency was probably widely used in some country or, probably, even within this world. Further to that, if I am to think about it simply, it would be easy to recognise that a gold coin is worth more than 21 normal coins.
Oh my god, if I were to bring this bag of gold coins to the merchant’s city, I could become a ‘big shot³’!
Hold on. Relax. The feeling on my hands reminded me of the cloaked woman beside me.
Perhaps, as I was overly excited, I had forgotten that the person who had given me this chance was her……
For a moment there, I even felt like I wasn’t worthy of holding her hands.
She, who had been quietly by my side this whole time, watched a normal human, whom she had met mere 5 days ago spend her money.
I used to be a man who could be cruel and cold when it came to money.
But at that very moment, in this foreign world, I decided to change myself.
Seeing that the caravans had not left yet, I threw down the sackful of purchases and ran towards the only merchant selling accessories.
When I returned, panting heavily, there was a necklace that cost me 20 gold coins in my hands——the necklace that I found to be the most special and beautiful of them all.
Opening the hood of her cloak, under the inconceivable gazes of those around us, I put the necklace around her neck.
“Sorry. This is the only thing that I can do for you right now.”
In front of her surprised face, I blurted out those words in Chinese. Then, like how they did it in television dramas, I hugged her tightly.
It had been a long time since a weird rumour about ‘the weird man with Medusa’ started spreading in town⁴.
2。 Is that the 4th wall I heard breaking?
3。Original word was 大手子, a slang used in north-eastern China, meaning bigshot/important.
4。城镇 can mean either town or city.