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13 A Surprise

 Zhao Fu did not have a good impression towards any of these large families, nor did he want to get involved with the Ying family, so he did not plan on seeking the Ying family out.

After looking through the information on the Heaven Awaken World forum, he found a pleasant surprise. Someone had drawn a rough map detailing the layout of China and the surrounding countries. Zhao Fu looked southwest of China: that was where he was going to go after leaving China.

Following this, Zhao Fu stopped looking at the news and entered the Heaven Awaken World.

"Your Majesty, it's good that you're here. One of our villagers was injured by an Outlander. Luckily, Bai Qi was able to capture a few of them," Li Si reported as soon as Zhao Fu entered.

Zhao Fu was quite surprised. The villagers all stayed around the Great Qin Village and didn't go too far, and Zhao Fu had sent people to patrol the surrounding region. There should be no danger, so where did these Outlanders come from?

Feeling quite confused, Zhao Fu followed Li Si and found Bai Qi.

Bai Qi was currently ordering people to use ropes to bind a few Gnomes. They were a bit taller than Goblins and were quite skinny. Their skin was gray-black, and they looked quite ugly.

"Bai Qi! What's going on?" Zhao Fu walked up and asked.

When Bai Qi looked over and saw that Zhao Fu had arrived, he cupped his hands respectfully as he explained, "Your Majesty, our villagers were picking wild fruits when suddenly a few Outlanders appeared and used crossbows to injure our villagers."

After saying this, Bai Qi ordered one of the soldiers to hand Zhao Fu a small crossbow. Zhao Fu took it and saw that it was quite elaborate. There were no blueprints for this kind of crossbow, so it was impossible to make them.

"Did you get much out of questioning them?" Zhao Fu asked.

Bai Qi shook his head as he replied, "Your Majesty, because we speak different languages, we haven't been able to get much information out of them. However, I've already sent people to investigate the place where these Gnomes appeared."

Just at this moment, someone came and reported that they had found a hidden tunnel.

Hearing this, Zhao Fu took a few people and went to the hidden tunnel. It was about one meter tall, and there was tall grass hiding it, making it quite difficult to find.

They also brought the Gnomes with them, and they all had ugly looks on their faces as if this place was very important to them.

Seeing this, Zhao Fu understood that the Gnomes had been hiding in there. However, Zhao Fu did not dare to rashly enter: they did not know how many Gnomes were inside and the tunnel was only one meter tall, so they could only enter one at a time, which was quite dangerous.

Zhao Fu chose a Gnome and ordered to have him whipped. As the whip struck the Gnome, it immediately lacerated the Gnome's skin, causing it to howl. After a few moments, Zhao Fu received a system announcement.

"System announcement! Gnome Dorje has surrendered to you. Would you like to accept?"

When Zhao Fu heard this system announcement, he chose to accept and ordered to have him brought over to him. Right now, the Gnome's Loyalty was only 10, but Zhao Fu did not mind. What he wanted was not his loyalty but the ability to understand his language.

"How many Gnomes are there in your village?" Zhao Fu asked.

The Gnome felt quite conflicted, but he saw that the ferocious-looking soldier was about to whip him again, he said, "Respected lord, Dorun village has 96 villagers. 46 of them are soldiers and the rest are females, elderly, and children."

"So they only have that many people. No wonder they don't dare to live above ground."

Zhao Fu nodded and said to the Gnome, "I'll release one of you. Tell them that I don't want to harm any of you, but all of you must submit to me."

The Gnome nodded and walked over to the other bound Gnomes and talked to them in his language, communicating Zhao Fu's intentions. Zhao Fu then chose one of them and allowed him to enter the tunnel.

"Shieldbearers, surround the tunnel. Be careful of any crossbow bolts at any time!" Zhao Fu ordered as the wait began.

Time gradually passed, but after an hour, no Gnomes came out to surrender.

Zhao Fu's expression darkened, and he said to Bai Qi, "Looks like the Gnomes don't intend on surrendering. Go and prepare some hay to smoke them out."

Bai Qi nodded and gave the order to prepare hay and to start burning it at the tunnel. The dense smoke slowly drifted into the tunnel, but soon, it was no longer able to enter - it seemed that the Gnomes had blocked off the tunnel.

"These Gnomes!"

Zhao Fu coldly harrumphed and ordered his people to block off the tunnel before asking if there were other secret passages that led to the Gnome Village. Most Gnomes did not know about these passages, and only a few elderly Gnomes in the village knew. As such, even if they dug their way in, the Gnomes could still escape through other tunnels.

Facing this sort of situation, Zhao Fu was not completely helpless. He called over 10 Goblin Warriors - now that he controlled two Goblin Villages, his forces now had 10 Goblin Warriors because each Goblin Village could have five Goblin Warriors.

After calling the Goblin Warriors over, Zhao Fu ordered them to use their massive stone hammers to smash the ground where Zhao Fu believed their village to be in order to collapse their tunnels and bury the Gnome Village. In a few days, they could take care of the corpses.

Of course, the Gnomes could dig new tunnels, so Zhao Fu ordered the 10 Goblin Warriors to immediately smash any tunnels as soon as they were discovered. That way, the Gnomes would not be able to escape.

Following this, Zhao Fu locked up the captured Gnomes. Because the Gnome that surrendered had incredibly low Loyalty and might escape at any moment, he was also locked up. However, Zhao Fu still treated him decently by giving him enough food and water because he surrendered. As for the other Gnomes, they could go hungry for a few days.

After returning to the village, Zhao Fu, Bai Qi, and Li Si started to discuss the information that Zhao Fu had gained from the Heaven Awaken World forum.

BOOM!!

Suddenly, a massive explosion sounded out, causing everyone in the Great Qin Village to become quite shocked.

Zhao Fu quickly came out and took some people over to where the explosion had come from. He saw a dazed few Goblin Warriors staring at a 10 meter long by 50 or so meter deep crack. Cold air could be felt from the crack, giving off an eerie feeling.

"What's going on?" Zhao Fu asked the Goblin Warriors.

One of the Goblin Warriors grunted back a string of words that meant that they had just been following Zhao Fu's orders by smashing the ground with their hammers. One of the Goblin Warriors had struck down with all of his might, and it had someone done this.

"System announcement! Dorun Village has surrendered to you. Would you like to accept?"

Zhao Fu's train of thought was cut off by the system announcement. He thought to himself, "Looks like they had to suffer a bit before they were willing to submit."

Zhao Fu accepted and told his people to start digging.