Translated by Lickymee
Edited by Ruzenor
I understood the theory about how the economic base determines the superstructure of a human society¹. Therefore, there must be an integrated trading economy system within this world.
(T/N: In Marxist theory, human society is comprised of two parts, the base and superstructure, with the base (Means of Production) affects the superstructure(Art, Ideology, Laws, etc). For more info, go search it up on Wiki)
With the Black Merchant Caravan as the basis, the system would probably be countries practicing autarky with caravans doing foreign trades along the trade routes.
(T/N: Autarky: Economic independence. For more info, here’s a Wiki link for you lazy bums.)
Holding a cigarette in my mouth, I whipped out my lighter. Alas, it was out of fuel.
Well, it’s decent quality lighter that had costed me 1 yuan, with an average lifespan of a month with continuous usage. It’s already been 68 days since I came here……
(T/N: China’s unit of currency if you still didn’t know by now)
Slipping the lighter back into my pocket, I decided to keep it as a memento of my past.
It was the usual peace and quiet at Mount Dochi today. Once I woke up in the morning, I began the daily routine of fetching and boiling water, making breakfast, reading, and of course, peeking at the cute sleeping face of my Xifu.
Around half past nine in the morning, the long and drawn out blow of a hunting horn that I hadn’t heard in a long time entered my ears. It was the sign of the Black Merchant Caravan.
‘Want to buy things?’
‘No, just……going for a walk with you.’
Once she said that, only had I realized that I could even understand colloquial terms of this world’s language like ‘going for a walk’.
‘This black, this, can no wear?’
‘Umm…no, must wear.’
‘Hehe, you wear too?’
‘No no, I no need.’
If you are to buy goods from the Black Merchant Caravan, wearing this black mantle was a must. This rule was made for those nonhuman customers.
On the contrary, the merchants who were humans wore bowler hats with no regards to their gender.
Regardless, it was an interesting rule. It probably was made to prevent the scary-looking monsters from scaring some timid merchants. The bowler hats were probably there to differentiate the identities.
Once again, I was standing at the lead carriage with the black evil-looking logo of the sun on it. Well, rather than describing the black sun, the entire carriage was made with black-coloured wood.
This made me think of the evil villains in those western fantasy movies. Would there be a Headless Horseman in this world too?
Being in a good mood, I knocked on the black plaque.
And then, the entire plaque started to rise.
Yep… it really started to rise……
Hey, I’m not looking for death! All I did was knock on the plaque twice, and it started to rise with mechanical sounds as if some trap had been activated. There wouldn’t be poisoned arrows shooting from carriage……right?
Fortunately, there weren’t arrows behind the plaque, but a single person within the carriage.
The only thing is, he seemed familiar……
The hell! Aren’t you the boss of the bar!?
Both of us exclaimed at the same, giving my Xifu a shock with her hands almost pulling the bow out.
‘Didn’t really expect to see you here, Mr. Lou Woo.’
Who the hell would expect this!? What, you’re not properly managing your bar, but instead doing this as a part-time job now?!
‘And this is…?’
‘Ah, this is my wife.’
‘So it’s Madame Lou Woo. Pleasure to meet you.’
The boss was in a smart-looking suit. Despite his old age, he had an aura of charm and hale of an youngster. He then reached out his hand in a friendly manner.
Signaling my Xifu, she reached hers out and shook his hands.
And then, this old pervert dare kiss my Xifu’s hands!
How the hell can I allow someone to just kiss my wife!? Thanks to my quick reflexes, I quickly pulled my Xifu’s beautiful hands back.
You should be thankful to even hold her hands, and now you want to use your mouth? Hell, I wouldn’t even allow it even if she wore gloves.
……I know, I know. A kiss on the hand is a formality between a gentleman and lady.
But I’m not a gentleman, and my Xifu’s isn’t a lady either. So what? I’m a freaking plebeian*, so my Xifu is only mine to kiss!
(T/N: Actually he said something along the lines of [I’m a grown man of the northeast!]. Makes no sense in English, so went a little liberal here.)
My actions made my Xifu and the boss shocked for a moment. To the boss, this must be something along the lines of saying ‘Hello’ but only saying ‘Hel’ before getting his mouth covered.
‘Sorry, sorry. M-my wife don’t like……’
‘Ah, it’s fine.’
Well, the older the wiser. The shocked expression only stayed on his face not more that 2 seconds before he gave a friendly smile, preventing the situation from becoming too awkward.
As we continued talking, I got to know that his name was Simon. According to him, the entire Black Merchant Caravan was under his command.
The Black Merchant Caravan’s history of doing business with non-humans was a long one, dating back even before Simon was born. Apparently, it had been an even larger organisation compared to now.
(T/N: I interrupt this novel to tell you to read on lickymee’s site! Pirate sites do no good to the translator’s mood to translate, so stop supporting them!)
As the three of us walked on, Simon, without stopping, started explaining the history and the current situation of the Black Merchant Caravan.
It had been formed by some lone travelling merchants who traded human products with the rare items of the non-humans. These items commonly had something to do with magic.
As they earned quite a sum, their scale grew continuously larger. Their travels consequently grew further, which increased the danger included as well. As many non-humans had no idea if the Black Merchant Caravan were merchants or invaders of their homeland, for a period of time, being a member of the caravan was quite the perilous career to have.
Within this time, the merchants decided to develop the stop they used to rest into a town.
And so, Nightfall Town was born. It was at that time that the rule of non-humans wearing a mantle and the merchants to wearing a bowler hats was formed.
Later on, there was a major event that happened in the Kingdom. I couldn’t understand what the major event was, but I bet it’s something crazy like a revolution or an usurpation of the government, cause the entire time he was talking, the words ‘War’, ‘Death’ and ‘Magic’ kept repeating itself.
Ever since that major event, the area of activities of the Black Merchant Caravan had been reducing due to the Kingdom restricting all contact between humans and non-humans, even if it’s to conduct business.
The merchants who had their income cut off suffered greatly, with some returning to the Kingdom to operate other businesses, whilst others chose Nightfall Town.
And so, it was thanks to those merchants who chose to stay in Nightfall Town that it became the sole place where humans and non-humans could interact with each other in peace.
Actually, there were more details that Simon had explained, but I couldn’t understand most of it.
Thinking about it, there was a burning question in my mind about the gold and normal coins. After some time of observation, I noticed the non-humans had been paying with the same type of gold coins, with the merchants returning the change with the same kinds of normal coins too.But when I’m in Nightfall Town, it seems the only currency accepted here was the normal coins.
In other words, it seems only the Black Merchant Caravan accepted gold coins, while the others only accepted the normal coins.
So, where would the gold coins go?
Or, put in other words, where were they from?
Still, I didn’t voice out my question. Because I knew even if he was willing to explain to me the reason, I wouldn’t understand it anyway.
I only queried him whether the Kingdom accepted the gold coin as currency, which they didn’t. Simon also showed me the currency that the Kingdom used a type of paper bills. These bills had a large denomination, with the smallest value at a 100.
As my mind connected the clues such as the information on the map, the gold coins, history of the Black Merchant Caravan and the current situation of the Nightfall Town.
All these information came to the shocking conclusion——Nightfall Town and the nonhumans had formed a trading economy with the trading route as the basis.
Looking over, despite not having the noisiness of a night market, the long rows of carriages gave a feeling of a thriving liveliness. Well, maybe this was the best proof of the good relationship between Nightfall Town and the nonhumans?
I came to the Black Merchant Caravan with the intention to buy. Although I’m not sure if there had cotton here, acquiring a cotton blanket and clothings was the first priority on my shopping list.
As we leisurely strolled, Simon really played his role as a host as he introduced to me good items I should get such as kettles, combs, some kind of mechanical fire starter, a jar for storing food, weird-looking snacks and food, a small fine-looking box……but no cotton blanket in sight.
But hey, Xifu and I had an enjoyable time there. Well, I understand why she was happy. Which woman wouldn’t be when they went shopping? She even has a hubby accompanying her.
Well, it’s not like I’m not happy too. I got to see so many weird monsters, even though I can’t see their face. Still, under those hoods, there were a few curious clues that I could see, especially a small-sized monster who dripped water wherever he went.
(T/N: Author actually uses the term [我真想@论外] here, which is a reference to a famous user in China’s version of Twitter. Sadly, I have no idea what it means other than asking someone who is very knowledgeable.]
Buying and eating whatever you want, that’s what you call shopping.
To hell with the cotton blanket, I love the Black Merchant Caravan! And my wife too!
T/N: With this chapter, some insight of the background of the Black Merchant Caravan has been revealed. Sorry not sorry about my long disappearance. Real life sucks. Religions are a lie. If only I could shoot myself. Working on the next chapter, but no promises when it would be done.