Chapter 122 “The Missing Iron Ores”
As soon as Ling Yue came out of seclusion and went over to the governor’s estate, she immediately knew something was wrong based on the heavy atmosphere. Aside from the governor himself, there’s also her grandfather Ye Gu and his sons, various aids to the governor, and Lan Caier was also present.
Through her inquiry, Ling Yue then learned of what happened from the others.
The shipment of iron ores had gone missing overnight. Due to her recent endeavor to grasp the ‘Blink Shield’ technique, she’s been oblivious to the fact that her family had handed over the first shipment to the local garrison. And through the help of the alchemist association, the final products were much better than usual. Around ninety percent of the bars have reached seventy percent purity rate while the last ten eighty.
Things were going smoothly at first and the governor also accepted the products when checking the quality, but then things changed the other day. While the ores were being shipped down the waterway to the base camp, an accident occurred during transport.
Around ten thousand pieces of high quality Yuan iron disappeared overnight without a trace.
That’s not all, even the ships and sailors had vanished from thin air. It’s like they never existed in the first place.
“How can ten thousand pieces of Yuan iron just get up and disappear overnight?” Finding this very suspicious, Ling Yue will bet her life that somethings not right here.
“I also find it strange. I even suspected the Mountain Sea Gang being behind this, but after careful investigation, nothing came up.” Governor Lan sounded sad and gloomy.
He’s got no proof, but Lan Ying Wu’s not blind to the fact that the Mountain Sea Gang’s former identity was actually the water bandits plaguing the waterway around the region. On the very same day of the theft, he immediately brought his men over to check, but sadly he came back empty handed.
Against Sha Kaung and his son’s repeated denial, plus the lack of evidence, Lan Ying Wu got no grounds to continue suspecting the Mountain Sea Gang when all things point in the other direction.
A whopping number like ten thousand pieces of iron cannot be hidden without leaving traces of evidence behind, at the very least the Mountain Sea Gang can’t pull of such a heist.
“In that case, who else would be responsible for this if not those people?” Lan Caier sounds worried. The Ye family was endorsed by her father to the military, meaning her father will have to take responsibility too when the whole thing blows up.
If the Ye family could nail this first order then their status would be set in stone, but if they failed, then that’s considered disobedience to the military, a felony. Jail time was one thing, losing their heads would be another.
“The delivery date set by the military is only seven days away. Even if we collaborate with the alchemist association for the next few days, it’s impossible to produce ten thousand pieces of such fine quality.” Ye Gu locked his forehead together. Because of the theft, he’s been unable to sleep for the past two days.
Despite his effort to look for clues, dragging all his sons to scour the landscape near the river, nothing ever came up. In front of this critical situation, every member of the Ye family looked depressed and gloomy.
Ling Yue wanted to help dearly right after she listened in, but not even she can do anything against that number. Cheat or no cheat with her cauldron, no one can handle that many ores in seven days.
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Discussing the problem for a while, none could come up with a solution.
“It seems we have no solution then. Let’s do this. Have everyone in the Ye family and the alchemist association work overtime for the remainder of the deadline and see if we can get a decent number. As for the garrison side, I will see if I can pull some strings and have them loosen the conditions.” Lan Ying Wu can only come up with this idea.
When the rest of the Ye family members left the governor’s estate, Ling Yue deliberately pulled Lan Caier to one side to talk.
“What, you want to buy Yuan iron ores? How is that going to work, there’s hardly any iron bars of eighty percent purity in the open market. Let’s say we throw out an astronomical calling price, where are we supposed to get the money?” Lan Caier became frightened by Ling Yue’s crazy idea. But she does admit, this method was the most direct and quickest way to solve the problem at hand.
“I will solve the money issue; however, our goal isn’t about procuring enough iron, it’s to lure the snake out its den.” Ling Yue then explained the plan by whispering everything into Lan Caier’s ear. Understanding the point, her worry instantly turned to joy.
In the same afternoon, a foreign looking businessman makes a visit to the Profit House.
“I want the highest grade of Yuan iron, at least eighty percent or above, and I want as many as you can find. For each piece I will pay twelve gold, and also the Profit House can charge me twenty percent of the total cost as the transaction fee. Find me at the Yuelai Inn when things are ready.” After stating this, the foreign businessmen freely threw over several money notes at the reception. Each note represented a thousand silver.
As many as we can find? For the shopkeeper of the biggest trading hub in this city, even he was astounded by the lavish style of this businessman.
“Guest, it’s rare to find that level of iron ore in the market, but the Profit House will do its best.” After the guest left the establishment, the Profit House promptly posted the notice of their acquisition intent around every nook and cranny of the city.
First day, nothing… Second day, nothing again….
“Ling Yue, it’s been three days already and there’s no one coming, can it be they became suspicious of our plan?” Unable to stay calm, Lan Caier paces back and forth inside the room they rented at the Yuelai Inn.
Several days ago after the long discussion, Ling Yue then came up with this plan to disguise themselves as a foreign buyer to lure the thieves out.
“Don’t worry, the fish will soon bite.” Ling Yue shows a smirk, confident her plan will work. Unexpectedly, it didn’t take long for her words to come true. Not only did her bait catch a bite, the fish was a big one too!
When the young boss, Sha Zhan of the Mountain Sea Gang entered the inn, both girls had their spirits lifted because their guesses were right. This incident definitely had something to do with that group.
The truth was Sha Zhan had long heard about someone wishing to procure tons of Yuan iron at a high price recently. The only issue was his father. Sha Kaung had directly ordered everyone to keep their mouths shut regarding anything related to the Yuan iron.
With all precautions in place, Sha Kaung originally thought things would be without a leak, yet who would’ve guessed the one to ruin him would be his own son, Sha Zhan.
As a deadbeat spoiled brat who only likes to waste his days in pleasure, Sha Zhan carelessly lost over ten thousand gold the other day in gambling.
This wasn’t Sha Zhan’s first either. For the previous debts, his father can still cover the aftermath by either paying it off or settling it with brute strength. But not this time. Sha Zhan honestly didn’t have the nerve to tell his father while their situation was so dire.
Without much money at hand, Sha Zhan naturally had to look for other resources. That’s when his focus fell upon the post about the Yuan iron.
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