Chapter 21: The Difference Between Heaven and Hell

The night in Xi Yang City was very quiet. The sky was full of grey clouds, blocking the moonlight, making it convenient for people with ulterior motives to do things.

The dark street was quite, but it was filled with sour smell.¹ Mina, a beastkin, really hated the smell. She missed her soft bed and soft and unusual quilt in the castle. She heard from the young master that it was made the feathers of many ducks. It was called a duvet… it should be, right? She missed the polished rice porridge even more. She decided that she would eat 3 bowls of lean meat polished rice porridge after she completed this task.

Mina walked silently at a fairly normal pace.² As she walked in the shadows, her eyes scanned the surroundings vigilantly and her cat ears shook continuously.

Her destination was the east of the Xi Yang City. The people living there were all wealthy, and today she got the information that the food merchants would gather in one of the houses.

When Mina got to the place that the food merchants were meeting, she found that it was very lively. It was another world compared to the lives of commoners.

Mina silently entered the hall from the shadows and went on top of the beam. She looked at the food placed by the maid below and couldn’t help but curl her lips. The food couldn’t arouse her appetite at all.

There were big pieces of pork, wheat bread made from polished wheat, and pots of wheat wine. If it was three or four days ago, Mina might have drooled just by seeing these foods and would be satisfied with just one bite.

Now, however, she was filled with disdain. She could smell the fishy smell of the pork from far away. The wheat bread that was about a thick as an arm might be able to be used as a stick.

Mina compared the food to the braised pork and soft bread that Nicole made, and felt the the food below should be what young master categorized as pig food.

It wasn’t long before the food merchants came in. The maids were kicked out and a few strong guards guarded the door.

“Wow! My friend, the food tonight is very rich. This pork is soft and sweet.” One of the food merchants shouted excitedly and used his hand to stuff the pork in his mouth.

“It is delicious, better than the food that my chef makes. This wheat bread is full of fragrance.” Another food merchant was like someone who had starved to death. He had pork in one hand and wheat bread in the other and took large bites.

“Everyone, go and enjoy yourselves. This was organized based on the noble version of feasts. Everyone, eat as much as you want.” A fat food merchant said happily. He took the wheat wine and poured it into his mouth.

Mina, who was on the beam,³ almost vomited as she watched the people below her eat. Seeing those black fingernails grabbing the food and those greasy beards, Mina compared her current life in the castle to the lives of people in this place;³ it was the difference between heaven and hell.

She thought for a while and realized that other nobles were pretty much the same. Everyone would eat with their hands; they would at most have an exquisite knife.

“Could it be that the young master is the real noble?” Such a question popped into Mina’s mind. There were many ways to eat meat in the castle.Steaks were eaten with a knife and a fork, and fried meat were eaten with chopsticks that were made up of 2 wooden sticks.

She remembered when she first ate steak with Nicole. She wanted to laugh just remembering how they were staring at the knife and fork dumbfoundedly. Young master was the one who taught them how to use knife, fork, and chopsticks to eat steak.

“In other words, my current life is better than the life of a princesses?” Mina started to imagine things in her mind.

The people below all gossiped in the beginning, like which food merchant sold the most, which food merchants mixed unpolished wheat with polished wheat and sold it for the price of polished wheat, and so on.

After the food merchants finished their meal, and burped one after the other, they all burst into laughter, “Ha ha ha… So nice!”

“Everyone is full, so let’s get to business,” The fat food merchant said.

“Speak. You won’t call us here just to eat.”

The fat food merchant nodded and scanned the people in the room. He said in a low voice, “Everyone should know that it isn’t that farm from the autumn harvest. When it’s time for the wheat to be harvested, out wheat prices will plummet.”

“Indeed. Our wheat are old warehouse wheat, which is worse than the newly harvested wheat,” a food merchant agreed.

“Do we have to raise the price again? We just raised the price 2 days ago, and we’re going to raise the price again. The residents will make trouble,” a food merchant said worriedly.

“What are you afraid of? What are they going to do, not buy wheat? As long as we don’t sell wheat for 5 or 6 days, many people will starve. Who would dare to make trouble?” The fat food merchant said.

“Indeed, as long as we keep our price the same, those people would have to buy even if they don’t want to.”

I only have one worry. Will the city lord suppress us? You should know that the city lord recruited about 100 soldiers today,” a food merchant said worriedly.

The fat food merchant sneered and laughed. “Are you afraid of those newly recruited militiamen? They aren’t knights.”

“When the new city lord has finished training the militiamen, the autumn harvest would already be here, we would have made enough, and everyone will leave Xi Yang City. What is there to be afraid of?” The fat food merchant stood up and waved his hands excitedly. “Besides, would you be afraid? This new city lord can’t do anything, and he cut off his own retreat path. He actually removed so many taxes. He needs to feed about 100 people, do you think we should sell him wheat?”

Translator’s Notes:

“Ha ha ha… We’ll sell it to him if he listens, if he doesn’t then we won’t listen to him. Those militiamen will cause trouble if they don’t have food to eat.”

¹ So apparently sound can affect smell???

² Author only wrote that she walked at a “not slow pace”. Not really sure how to put it so that it makes sense, so I just went along with normal pace.

³ Author wrote that “Mina compared her current castle life”, but he never wrote what she compared her life to. Leaving it like that would not make much sense, so I just put what I thought the author meant to compare it to. Also, by life, I pretty sure Mina meant table manners.

Some things came up irl for a few days, so I wasn’t able to translate anything. For now, I’m done dealing with the things irl, and I think I’ll be free for the next few days, at least. Hopefully nothing comes up again. I guess I now owe… 5… no, 6 chapters. Oh well. Guess I’ll have to work extra.

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