Chapter 114: Socioecology
Translator: Letty Editor: DarkGem
"The table isn't really worth money." The hook-nosed woman walked up to Chang, smirking. "Why did you come back so late today? The smell of blood is all over you, so let me guess, you encountered those kinds of dangers again?"
"I did. I met a group of mercenaries in the jungle, sadly they were attacked by the monkats. Most of them lost their lives in that fight," Chang said. "Those animals have become much smarter than before, they even know how to make tools and use them."
"Of course, it has been more than four years since that day. What wouldn't happen? I heard that abyssal species are invading coastal cities." The one-armed woman smiled. "The situation in the Central Plain is better as Zhengzhou state is an inland city. Humans in the coastal cities have already went extinct, those who didn't flee inwardly anyway. And the few stubborn ones remaining are completely disadvantaged in this compet.i.tion with mutated species."
While the woman was speaking, the door was opened again; an abnormal kid with two heads peeked in.
"Please, spare us some food."
"I beg for your mercy, we haven't eaten for days."
The two headed kid spoke in turns, raising her hand with a bowl up high.
Chang only heaved a sigh, looking at the two-headed child. "It's been four years, and those newborns are growing up."
He turned around and took out a pack of biscuits from behind the counter, them put them into her tiny bowl.
"Thank you, thank you very much!"
Both of her heads bowed gratefully. It wasn't hard to tell that this was their first time receiving food from others in a few days.
"Go home, now."
Chang ran his hand over her messy hair, sending them away from the bar.
"The rate of abnormal infants is over fifty percent now, thanks to Zhuo's Agent Orange and Chrystal Pea." The woman sent the girl away with her eyes. "However... if Zhuo hadn't used Agent Orange and fed the citizens with Chrystal Peas, I bet humanity would have been far worse now as less of us would've survived, resulting in a lower birthrate. Was he evil? Or did he consider the big picture instead?"
"Well, we can do nothing about it, right? Let's get them all out." Chang curved his mouth and patted some drunkard near him. "Bro, get up! You should go home now."
"What..." One of the listless mercenaries rubbed his eyes, slurring, "Right, home..."
"Pay your bills guys, pay your bills!"
The one-armed woman flicked the switches up, and the light became dazzlingly bright to the drunkards. She then grabbed the bills on the counter, going up to the tables one by one.
"You, three hundred and seventy State Yuan."
"You, seven hundred and forty State Yuan"
The one-armed woman collected money from one table and the other, urging most people out of the bar. Of course, she saved the most rejoiced group for the end.
"You guys..." The woman stood beside Chang and said to those mercenaries, "You, seven thousand and nine hundred State Yuan please."
"What the h.e.l.l? Isn't that too expensive?" The price awakened the mercenaries from their drunkenness, and they yelled altogether, "Why?"
"First, each of our bills account for our own hydro bills, not only is electricity pricey but the military had also order us to use it within a prescribed amount. Second, you all drank Baijiu, which is made from natural grain. Most of the others would choose Crystal Spirit that replaces natural grain with Chrystal Pea in the making process. Certainly, the price is different between these two. I think you know the price difference between Crystal Pea and natural grain. Natural grain is a rarity! I'm not asking for more than I should charge you," the woman explained. "On top of those, you are also compensating for the broken table. And hence, seven thousand and nine hundred State Yuan."
"But this is way too expensive! You're ripping us off!" the fatty Sanpang yelled out, standing up.
"By law, you'll pay for what you ate and drank, I think no one can deny that, can you?" The woman swung the empty bottles, saying, "In fact, I'm not ripping you off, you can ask for its price at other bars with this empty bottle. If I charge higher, you can come back to me and we'll talk about it. But today, I need seven thousand and nine hundred State Yuan paid."
The woman brandished her hooked arm as she became impatient. "Our margin for liquors is pretty low already, don't imagine that you can repudiate this bill."
"Repudiating? Your sh*tty bar simply didn't provide good service to us! There isn't even one stripper here! We don't care about money but we didn't enjoy our time here, and hence don't expect us to pay the full price! It was your bar's problem, not ours."
"Having strippers or not is our business, but you all have to pay for the liquor that you all drank!"
"I only have one thousand, keep it or I'll take it back too."
Sanpang, who was speaking, fished out a wrinkled bill that was made of anti-corrosive synthetic fiber with Qing Shui's head portrait printed at the center. At the corner of this bill, an Arabic number was stamped - 1000.
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"a.s.shole, so you decide not to pay don't you?" The woman was outraged by the mercenaries swollen with arrogance. She pushed Sanpang to the ground and pressed her iron hook against his neck artery. "No one is leaving without paying today!"
The mercenaries stood gazing at one another, as well as checking out the door for a chance of escape. But then they thought twice about it, remembering how they were disarmed. They touched the hot spots on their cheeks and made a wise decision to give in.
Men who suited their actions to the situation were wise. The mercenaries emptied their pockets.
There were guns, knifes, money, daggers, and bug samples they had captured in the jungle today.
"You guys are dest.i.tute! Using all this inferior stuff, except for those bug samples, none of it is worth a penny. I can even get a brand new pistol at the black market for two thousand State Yuan." Chang laughed, banging on the table. "How dare you drink the most expensive liquors at my bar being like this? I'll take in all of these for thirty thousand State Yuan, and besides them, one of you must stay stay as a hostage. He'll be released when you pay me back."
Chang pulled up Sanpang, the chubbiest one off the floor, and expelled the rest from the bar.
Later, Chang's staff cleaned up the bar and greeted him before leaving.
The people remained in the bar.
Chang scanned the face of this remaining mercenary.
"Sanpang Mo," the person answered honestly.
"Are you sure this isn't your nickname?"
"No... this is my real name."
"Alright, Sanpang." Chang nodded, patting his shoulder. "Don't be afraid, do you know the reason why I'm keeping you?"
"I don't know." The man shook his head. "Wasn't it because of the debt we owe you?"
"That was one of the reasons. Besides that, I usually have a good impression of fatties like you. I used to have a good pal, we called him Pangzi." Chang lightly pressed the bone pendant under his s.h.i.+rt. "Unfortunately, I couldn't save him from his fate. Besides my personal reason, fatties are rarities these days, I was hoping to keep one as a souvenir. But I'm a man who keeps my own word, once your pals pay the ransom, I'll release you immediately. My one last warning is - don't even think about escaping from me, the price for that is a hundred thousand State Yuan for every attempt."
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