Book 14 Chapter 26 - The Lives of Nobodies

Yunqin’s ordinary standard black painted leather armor, despite being considered an extremely normal consumable good, an armor that even the most ordinary border army soldier would be given two to three sets of, a large quantity didn’t mean that the craftsmanship was simple, nor did it represent that it was cheaply priced and lacking in defensive ability.

The leather used to make this black painted leather armor mostly came from Linchuan Black Bulls and Beilong Green Bulls. The leather of these two types of bulls was naturally extremely sturdy. This was especially the case with Beilong Green Bulls, there was always the old expression of ‘Beilong ten bulls wears down a blade’.

Great Mang’s leather production first used smoke to make the leather tough. However, it was comparatively more brittle and it increased the difficulty of later processing, the time it took to make leather armor longer than Yunqin.

Yunqin standard armor was first washed with cold spring water, and then steamed with medicinal material, borrowing the heat to trim it. Then, all of the following processing work would be completed within seven days, since if it exceeded seven days, the leather armor would become too hard from being air-dried, difficult to process then. The bits and pieces that were trimmed off were slowly cooked into a rubber, mixed with some lacquer made from the liquid of certain trees, and then used to hold the leather armor together and add a protective layering over the leather armor. After all of this, it would then undergo a series of surface processing.

Under the many and complicated careful workmanship, even if it was in Dragon Snake Mountain Range’s nasty environment, even if Yunqin’s black leather armor was always soaked in dirty water, as time went on, it still wouldn’t rot or deform.

A woman dressed in ordinary cloth clothes, wearing a leather apron around her body, held a pair of shears, currently carrying out trimming work on a pile of thick leather outside the steaming workshop.

There was a black spot on the corner of this woman’s left eye, her facial features also extremely ordinary, could not be considered that pretty. She looked like she was twenty or so years in age, her hands and feet rough and large, only an ordinary hired worker in this leather workshop.

The leather that came out not too long ago from the steamer was still extremely hot, filling her surroundings with rising heat. Moreover, the heat, when mixed with the medicinal liquid, was still extremely foul smelling. When one remained in this type of heat for a long time, regardless of whether it was the skin on her hands or face, they all seemed a bit rough, completely lacking the luster of an ordinary young lady, to the extent where it was even a bit swollen red, as if the color on the surface of her skin was a temporary condition.

The smell of her body was definitely not good either. This type of smell, unless one used good soap to wash for several days, it definitely couldn’t be eliminated.

The short haired youngster dressed in a set of Trade Sector uniform was precisely checking some of the leather that had been trimmed by her side. After carefully examining close to two hundred sets of leather, this short haired youngster, while wrapped within the rising heat, nodded his head in praise and approval towards this ordinary female worker.

This female worker bit her lips in a bit of an embarrassed manner, using her eyes to silently express her thanks towards this short haired youngster.

“You must be Tang Ke[1]?” A voice that, despite seeming calm, didn’t seem to match this regular and thoroughly arranged workshop, suddenly sounded from this type of white heat.

The somewhat naturally stooped short haired youngster was precisely Tang Ke.

His heart jumped, his eyes following the direction this voice came from. He saw the figure of a tall, straight and elegant young official full of pride slowly appear in his field of view.

At first, Tang Ke didn’t recognize this graceful and handsome young official who was entirely different from this workshop, but the instant he saw the other party’s luxurious official uniform and red-purple rhinoceros accessory, his expression changed slightly, bowing and saying, “I pay my respects to Sir Di.”

“You actually recognize me.” Di Choufei revealed a faint smile. He looked at this Green Luan Academy student who remained humble before him, and then gave that ordinary female worker who didn’t know what was happening a look, she was a bit ill at ease even while working with her head lowered. “This female worker is named Hong Xiunu?”

The woman’s hands shook slightly, the extremely sharp shears almost drawing out a bloody gash along her finger joint.

The expression on Tang Ke’s lowered head became a bit uglier, saying respectfully with difficulty. “Yes.”

“In my earlier years, I’ve also spent some time in Trade Sector, so I know a bit about the manufacturing of armor.” Di Choufei looked at the obedient Tang Ke, saying with a smile, “Normal armor creating workshops have extremely few female workers, this is most likely because the strength in a female worker’s hands will always be a bit weaker. This is unless the female worker has some special areas. This Hong Xiunu was actually arranged to come here by you. Is this because she has some areas where she is outstanding? Is it that she is able to trim the armors exceptionally fast, or is it the precision, able to trim out more finished goods than an ordinary male worker within a day?”

Tang Ke’s heart jumped again, his expression becoming a bit uglier once more. However, his body bowed a bit deeper, his voice carrying even more servitude and humbleness. “Sir Di, It isn’t this reason, it is only because Hong Xiunu’s older brothers have both died on the front lines, her mother is also suffering from a serious illness…”

Di Choufei’s brows furrowed slightly, cutting off Tang Ke’s words. “If her two older brothers died in battle, then the military department should have already given out relief payments, right?”

Tang Ke respectfully explained, “Her mother’s illness is rather serious, so the previous compensation payment has already been used up, that is why she was arranged to work here to earn a living.”

“It was only because of sympathy?” Di Choufei smiled. He looked at Tang Ke. “Isn’t it because of personal considerations?”

The female worker’s shears stopped.

She began to feel fear, her eyes starting to become blurry.

She was only the child of an ordinary poverty-stricken family, someone who never studied much, she wasn’t someone who could be considered that smart. Even now, she didn’t know Di Choufei’s identity, but she could at least tell that Di Choufei was an extremely important official. In addition, she could tell that Di Choufei deliberately came to trouble Tang Ke.

Tang Ke’s voice began to shake slightly. “Sir Di, the production workshops use labor. Giving precedence to the distress of military subordinates is conventional practice.”

“If conventional practice was done towards a man, then there naturally wouldn’t be any criticism.” Di Choufei looked at Tang Ke with ridicule, shaking his head as he said quietly, “However, you are looking after a young woman, so this cannot help but bring criticism, make one feel that this is unfair.”

Tang Ke’s body went slightly rigid. “I…”

“Yunqin has laws because they should be followed.” Di Choufei moved his hands behind him. “Actually, if you wanted to help her, you didn’t have to use this type of method… In my opinion, since you have an interest in her, why don’t I just serve as a witness, take her as your wife? This way, both her and her mother’s livelihoods wouldn’t be an issue.”

When she heard these words, the female worker was filled with interweaving fear and grievance, tears pouring unendingly from her eyes. Only, she still didn’t dare utter a sound out of fear of bringing Tang Ke more trouble.

Tang Ke’s voice became even more stiff. He forcefully swallowed his saliva, still respectfully bowing his body as he quietly said, “Sir, ever since I came out from Green Luan Academy, I only wish to live a calm life. I will not get involved in any disputes, even if I spend this entire life as a small production supervisor.”

When Di Choufei heard this type of voice that was almost begging for pity, his handsome face produced a hint of a delighted expression. He shook his head, calmly saying with a bit of mockery, “However, after all, you are Lin Xi’s friend.”

Tang Ke raised his head.

His respectful face finally warped from anger, becoming ashen.

He was only cautiously and conscientiously doing work here, watching over this type of female worker, only carrying out his duty as an officer in this workshop… Only, none of this had anything to do with Di Choufei’s appearance. Di Choufei’s appearance was because of Lin Xi, because he was Lin Xi’s friend when he was in the academy.

Di Choufei didn’t seem to have seen his expression at all, only turning around to size up the female worker whose face was flowing with tears, not daring to release any sobbing sounds.

He looked at this ordinary female worker whose skin was in extremely poor condition, a black spot at the corner of her eyes. As if he understood something, he said in mockery, “Then this is to say that you aren’t willing… that you feel Hong Xiunu isn’t pretty enough? However, when taking on a wife, let me give you a word of advice, do not care too much about outer appearance.”

The ordinary girl continued to shed tears.

She finally couldn’t hold on any longer, crying out loud.

She couldn’t endure the humiliation of Di Choufei’s words. She was indeed a woman who was extremely ugly, extremely foul smelling.

She was also an extremely dumb girl, which was why she couldn’t think up any other ways. She could only think of a single way that would prevent Di Choufei from using her to humiliate Tang Ke.

As such, while sobbing, she raised the sharp shears in her hands, fiercely stabbing them towards her chest.

Chi!

Her apron released a splitting sound, but her shears didn’t stab through her body.

Her hands were grabbed by an extremely strong hand, as if they were gripped by an iron clamp.

She saw Tang Ke’s warped and furious face. “Have you gone crazy?!”

This ordinary female worker felt even more wronged, even more scared. She didn’t even know what else she could do. Her sobbing noises became even greater.

“You don’t need to work here anymore.”

At this time, Tang Ke didn’t look at Di Choufei. He removed the shears from this female worker’s hands. In his eyes, this sobbing female worker’s ordinary face seemed even softer. “I know that this is a bit rude… are you willing to marry me? If you are willing, I wish to take you as my wife.”

Di Choufei who was laughing with ridicule was stunned.

This young female worker was also stunned.

She felt like she brought Tang Ke even greater troubles, feeling even greater humiliation. As such, she stopped crying, her face completely pale, her eyes concentrating on the shears in Tang Ke’s hands. She reached out her hands, wishing to frantically seize the shears from Tang Ke’s hands.

“I am serious.”

However, Tang Ke instead looked into her eyes, shaking his head. Then, he slowly turned around to look at Di Choufei, his voice calm as he said, “Sir Di, what you said is correct. Even though she is not pretty in your eyes, I must thank you. You have allowed me to see her most precious side. I need this type of ordinary but precious woman as my wife.”

The young female worker’s hands became stiff.

Tang Ke threw aside the shears, tightly holding her rough hands, pulling her to her feet. “Are you willing?” He had a smile on his face as he looked at this young female worker, saying this sincerely.

The young female worker’s eyes became blurry once more, but she could see the sincerity and joy in Tang Ke’s eyes. As such, she sobbed, forcefully nodding her head.

Tang Ke began to laugh, turning around to look at Di Choufei. “Thank you, Sir Di, for serving as a witness.”

Di Choufei’s face became a bit rigid.

In the surrounding heat, several cheers sounded from the workshop’s workers in the distance.

When faced with these two small figures, Di Choufei didn’t say anything else, only expressionlessly turning around to leave.

While carrying a bit of heat and stench as he walked out of the workshop, Di Choufei saw that a brand new carriage was parked next to his own carriage.

In this brand new Central Continent City, the other youngster with tremendous authority, Xu Zhenyan, was currently standing in front of this new carriage with a gloomy and cold expression.

“Bullying this type of small figure presumably cannot bring you much joy, I reckon?”

While looking at Di Choufei who walked over, Xu Zhenyan who was covered under a gray cloak calmly said, “If you wish to truly anger Lin Xi, make him lose control, make him feel even greater harm, then you need to hurt those even more important to him.”


1. Border barbarian who came to Green Luan Academy and became friends with Lin Xi. Later on, he was sent to Chaste Blossom City for practical training

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