184 The Verdant Wood Tribe
The pretty girl said this then left with her indignant companions.
Jiang Chen hadn't expected that. He thought for a while and followed them.
"What else do you want?!" The hot-tempered girl called Yang Jia stared at him.
The others didn't look friendly towards him either.
Jiang Chen smiled, trying to make himself look approachable. He said, "Guys, don't get me wrong. I went into the mountains to hunt with my buddies, but we ran into monsters and I'm the only one that survived. Then I got lost in the forest and was trapped there, until today. Could you please kindly take me out of here?"
Such an unusual story didn't sound true, but judging from Jiang Chen's current appearance, the six believed him without doubts.
They looked at each other and walked away to discuss what to do.
Five of them didn't want to take Jiang Chen, but the girl who was walked in on by Jiang Chen pitied him and didn't have the heart to leave him there.
The six were talking in low voices, but Jiang Chen could hear their conversation.
The five couldn't talk the girl out of her decision, so in the end they agreed to take Jiang Chen with them.
"We're going to Zhang Juan's home. Her family is a big tribe. Don't get us into trouble!" Yang Jia said to him.
Jiang Chen was wondering where he was. Such a name for a group sounded ancient, but he didn't rush to ask and just followed them.
The six still had doubts about him, so they kept their distance and tried not to let him hear their conversation.
Jiang Chen didn't mean to, but he heard almost all of it.
It turned out they were heading for Zhang Juan's home to persuade her parents not to marry her to a playboy from some big group.
Jiang Chen felt curious, but he didn't think it appropriate for him to ask for more details.
Soon, they walked out of the forest where the road opened up. There were some buildings on a plain far away, but they were on a small scale, like a town. The city walls were only a row of low mud walls.
This was the tribe Yang Jia had mentioned, where Zhang Juan's home was.
They took Jiang Chen into the tribe and left in another direction, leaving Jiang Chen behind.
Jiang Chen thought for a while and walked into an inn. He asked for a good room and had a hot bath.
"It's way more comfortable out of the forest," Jiang Chen exclaimed.
Suddenly, Whitty jumped onto the table then jumped forward into the bathtub. Its big size made the hot water overflow.
Jiang Chen was given a scare, but Whitty looked so joyful that he didn't have the heart to reprimand it.
However, the waiter knocked on his door and told him the water was leaking to the first floor.
Jiang Chen gave him a rose gold coin, and the angry waiter cracked a smile immediately.
Then, Jiang Chen asked him some questions, like what this place was and how far it was from the Xia Dynasty.
"The Xia Dynasty? You mean the dynasty in the Fire Field? It's very far away. It'll take you more than half a year on the fastest horse, but you can also go to the Flyingclouds and take an airship."
"This place is called Verdant Wood Tribe, on the border of the Fire Field and the Wood Field."
Jiang Chen knew he had traveled in the wrong direction, but fortunately, it was no big deal.
He sent the waiter to buy some clothes for him, then he pondered on what the six youngsters had been talking about.
When the waiter came back, Jiang Chen asked him about it.
The waiter looked awkward when he heard the words "Zhang Juan" and "marriage," continuously stumbling on his words.
Jiang Chen gave him another rose gold coin.
The waiter looked embarrassed, but he took the rose gold coin quickly and said, "My client, don't tell others that you heard this from me."
Then he told Jiang Chen what was happening.
There were many groups on the border of the Realm of Beasts, not only the Verdant Wood Tribe, just like the situation in the Hundred Thousand Mountains.
However, all these groups were governed by a single, big group. They had to pay tribute to this faction every year.
The big group was a gang called the Flying Dragon Gang. It was very powerful and had several Mental Wander States.
Jiang Chen made a confused face when he heard this. It sounded like people in the Mental Wander State were the most powerful ones on the border.
The waiter kept talking, not noticing his expression.
The son of the leader of the Flying Dragon Gang had taken a liking to Zhang Juan. He wanted to marry her and make her his thirty-sixth wife.
The Flying Dragon Gang would go there to pick her up the following day.
The Verdant Wood Tribe didn't dare offend the Flying Dragon Gang, so they had to agree to the marriage, but the six youngsters Jiang Chen had met, including Zhang Juan, hadn't given up. They had tried to persuade the tribe to turn the proposal down.
"Young and naïve," Jiang Chen thought. This marriage could decide the Verdant Wood Tribe's fate. It was impossible for them to persuade the tribe easily.
I'll stay here for another night.
Jiang Chen didn't have the heart to see the kind-hearted girl's life destroyed this way, so he decided to help her.
Jiang Chen was right. The Verdant Wood Tribe was completely indifferent to the begging of Zhang Juan's companions. They even put her five friends behind bars.
Zhang Juan couldn't stop crying at home, her parents sighing all day.
Guards were standing outside the door, in case Zhang Juan tried to run away.
"Juan, this is fate. We're not powerful enough, so we have to accept it," her mother said helplessly.
Zhang Juan didn't answer. She was sitting by the window, watching the stars and thinking of the rumors about her future husband, who was cruel and fond of women.
His thirty-odd wives had all been kidnapped by him. He imprisoned them on a mountain and made them have children like machines after he lost interest in them.
Some of them had tried to escape, but the gangsters caught them and raped them in groups.
"God, help me," Zhang Juan was praying silently.
Time passed. At dawn, the warriors of the tribe entered her room. The wife of the chief and some maidens rudely did facial makeup for her and made her change into a red wedding dress.
After all this was done, she was taken to the gates of the tribe. Important members of the tribe were there, including the chief and his kids.
"Zhang Juan, don't worry. We'll help you take care of your parents." The chief was a muscular middle-aged man. His tone left no room for arguments.
"Yeah, it's just your luck to be married to the leader of the Flying Dragon Gang's son," a girl about Zhang Juan's age said in a voice dripping with sarcasm. She was at least twice as fat as Zhang Juan and gloating obviously.
The girl was the chief's daughter. In their tribe, Zhang Juan was always called "little beauty." She had always been unhappy about it, but at that moment, she felt cheerful since Zhang Juan's beauty had brought her bad fortune.
"Chief, I want to see my friends," Zhang Juan said.
"Sure," the chief nodded. Yang Jia and the other four were brought to her. They felt sorrowful when they saw Zhang Juan in her wedding dress and burst into tears.
"Don't cry! What if the Flying Dragon Gang sees you like this?!" The chief stared at them angrily.
Hardly had his voice disappeared when they saw a swirl of dust outside the tribe and heard many hooves hitting the ground. A big group of people on horses were running towards them.
Those of the Verdant Wood Tribe became pale and nervous. They didn't dare to even breathe too hard. Zhang Juan and the others were trembling.