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20 - Iron Mine

 When Bai Qi and Li Si heard Zhao Fu's summons, they walked over with strange looks on their faces as they asked, "What is it, Your Majesty?"

Zhao Fu frowned and asked, "What's with the situation in my room?"

Li Si immediately understood and cupped his hands respectfully as he smiled and said, "We hope that Your Majesty will have an heir soon."

Zhao Fu's head started to hurt, and he said, "What's the meaning of this?"

Li Si promptly replied, "Your Majesty, Miss Liu Mei has good looks, and we're all delighted that Your Majesty is interested in her. On one hand, Your Majesty will have a concubine, and on the other hand, we'll be able to quickly gain the Wild Wolf Village's loyalty. This is perfect."

Zhao Fu bitterly laughed and asked, "When did I become interested in her?"

Li Si looked at Zhao Fu strangely and said, "Bai Qi told me!"

Upon hearing this, Bai Qi's face paled, realizing that he had misunderstood Zhao Fu's intentions. He quickly started to apologize but was cut off by Zhao Fu. How could he blame them over such a small matter? As such, he said, "Alright, let's just leave it at this. It's getting late, so both of you should get some rest."

Li Si and Bai Qi let out sighs of relief and asked to be excused before leaving.

Zhao Fu turned to look at his room and shook his head before finding another room to cultivate in before falling asleep.

When Liu Mei saw that Zhao Fu wasn't going to come in, she let out a sigh of relief before putting her clothes back on.

.......................................................

Early the next day, as darkness gradually receded and the world slowly became brighter, the blue sky could slowly be seen, and a few birds happily chirped in the trees.

Zhao Fu woke up and walked out of his room, and he found Wang Ergou holding a washbowl outside his door. Just as Zhao Fu walked out, Wang Ergou said, trying to curry favor, "Your Majesty, you're awake! This lowly one has brought you some water to wash your face."

"Mm," Zhao Fu replied and took the towel in the washbowl to wipe his face.

Wang Ergou said in a small voice for fear that Zhao Fu would get angry, "Your Majesty, you still haven't given me the antidote yet."

So it was that. Zhao Fu laughed as he replied, "That medicinal pill wasn't poisonous!"

"Really?" Wang Ergou asked happily.

"That's right," Zhao Fu replied. "I'll let you have a taste after we actually create some poison."

A bitter look appeared on Wang Ergou's face as he pleaded, "Your Majesty, please, no! I'll be your servant every day; how about that?"

"We'll see how you do!" Zhao Fu said as he walked away. Wang Ergou quickly poured out the water from the washbowl and followed behind Zhao Fu.

"Bai Qi! Gather a team and come with me to the Li Family Village!" Zhao Fu looked at the new villagers. There were 14 of them and one of them was B grade. Zhao Fu did not arrange for them to change their profession to soldier, and he instead split them up and sent them to the Smithy, Tailor Shop, and Medicine Shop.

As the Great Qin Village gained more and more people, their consumption also increased, so he needed to arrange for some people to help out in those shops.

Following this, Bai Qi arrived with a team of soldiers. Zhao Fu had done this because he was afraid that Li Youcai might go back on his word, as they only had a verbal agreement. A person's heart could never be fully relied upon - one moment he or she might confidently promise something just to go back on it in the next moment. As such, Zhao Fu decided to leave himself a backup plan.

"Your Majesty, can you return my weapon to me?" Liu Mei said after she found Zhao Fu and awkwardly saluted him.

Zhao Fu nodded. Her whip was Blue grade, and it had been confiscated when she had surrendered. When Liu Mei saw that Zhao Fu agreed to give it back to her, a look of joy appeared on her face. She had expected that she would not be able to recover it.

"Come with us to the Li Family Village later," Zhao Fu said to Liu Mei before going over to Bai Qi.

Liu Mei nodded and went to retrieve her whip.

................................

One hour later, Zhao Fu arrived at the Li Family Village. He told his soldiers to hide while he walked in with Bai Qi and Liu Mei.

The Li Family Village knew that the Wild Wolf Village had been destroyed and reduced to rubble the previous night. When the Li Family Village found out, some were excited while others were fearful. Those who were excited were excited because the Wild Wolf Village, a poisonous blight that had plagued them, had been eliminated. Those who were fearful were fearful because they were afraid that Zhao Fu would make a move against them.

The village gates opened and Li Youcai brought a group of people to welcome them, "Sir, you're truly a hero - you actually destroyed the Wild Wolf Village, saving the Li Family Village. Our entire village has agreed to join your village."

Li Youcai was a sly old fellow. When he saw that even the Wild Wolf Village's Third Mistress had submitted to Zhao Fu, he knew that the remnants of the Wild Wolf Village had joined Zhao Fu's forces. If Zhao Fu could destroy the Wild Wolf Village and even gain the remnant bandits, the Li Family Village would not be able to resist him at all. As such, Li Youcai chose to surrender while continuously praising Zhao Fu, and he looked quite sincere and loyal.

"System announcement! The Li Family Village has surrendered to you. Would you like to accept?"

Zhao Fu chose to accept and was awarded 60 Achievement Points, which made him feel quite surprised. He looked at the Li Family Village's stats and found that the Li Family Village was a Blue grade Village, which gave him 10 more Achievement Points than Normal grade Villages.

However, Zhao Fu currently already had 4 Subsidiary Villages, so after thinking about it, Zhao Fu made the newly-rebuilt Wolf Village an Affiliated Village instead.

Affiliated Villages were different from Subsidiary Villages: Affiliated Villages still belonged to the Great Qin Village, but they did not receive any stat bonuses from the Great Qin Village.

Following this, Li Youcai invited Zhao Fu and his followers in to talk about the details of joining the Great Qin Village. As they walked through the village, many of the Li Family villagers looked at Liu Mei with curiosity. They had heard about her evil deeds, and it was said that she was a ferocious shrew. However, none of them expected her to be so pretty.

Facing these stares, Liu Mei turned and glared at them savagely, saying, "What are you staring at? If you keep staring, I'll rip your eyes out."

The Li Family villagers were so scared by how ferocious she looked that they involuntarily took a step back.

Zhao Fu turned to look at her and frowned, causing Liu Mei to lower her head. After much discussion, Zhao Fu took away two-thirds of the Li Family Village's people. Under Li Youcai and Li Wen's request, Li Wen also went with Zhao Fu to the Great Qin Village.

Li Youcai did this because the Li Family Village had joined the Great Qin Village, and after hearing about the Great Qin Village, he felt that its future would be quite bright. As such, he wanted his son to join the Great Qin Village as soon as possible - who knows, he might be able to receive some benefits.

After taking these people back to the Great Qin Village, Zhao Fu went to look at the Great Qin Village's military. Zhao Fu now had more than 200 soldiers, and he left them in Bai Qi's care to be trained. Following this, Zhao Fu received a great piece of news: some villagers had discovered a small iron mine about five kilometers west of the Great Qin Village.

Zhao Fu was delighted and sent some people to mine the iron. He also sent more people to work on the stairs at the massive crack. After all, there was a treasure trove at the bottom - killing a few Skeletons at the bottom would net them skills and items that were worth tens of gold coins, so Zhao Fu couldn't help but feel incredibly moved.