Chapter 223: I want to be a King! |
Bai Zemin's current appearance was undoubtedly above average; not too much, but above average. If the human model of beauty was a rating from 1 to 10, then he would undoubtedly be a solid 7.
Compared to his past barely 5, the improvement had been quite great. However, it was hardly noticeable to those who had been by his side during the whole process of evolution; even to himself it was difficult to notice such a change.
But for people like Nangong Lingxin and Nangong Yi who were only seeing him for the first time, things were different. If they saw a picture of Bai Zemin a month ago, they would undoubtedly be surprised.
In fact, among all those present, the person who had changed the most physically was Bai Zemin. Although Shangguan Bing Xue and Chen He were also First Order beings, the improvement in appearance they both received through evolution had not been as great as his.
As for the reason, it could be because Shangguan Bing Xue and Chen He were practically perfect from the beginning even without the intervention of Soul Power and Soul Record. Whether this was so or whether there was another hidden reason, Bai Zemin did not know yet.
When it came to physique, although he currently wore comfortable sportswear, the muscles that contained explosive power and dominance could not be fully hidden.
As Nangong Lingxin and Nangong Yi looked at that pair of eyes as black as night, the two siblings felt that this gaze was as deep as a depthless black hole. No matter how hard they tried to understand something, neither of them even managed to know what the thoughts of the young man in front of them were.
Bai Zemin was not only surprised by the strength of the two people in front of him, but he was also a little surprised by how beautiful Nangong Lingxin was. Of course, that minuscule surprise was only by comparing her to most "normal" women. In reality, it was impossible for a woman to attract him with her beauty alone. Not after spending so much time with a succubus like Lilith.
Seeing Bai Zemin looking at the new recruits, Shangguan Bing Xue intruded on them both, "These two are new members of the group, they joined while you were working in your workshop. The woman's name is Nangong Lingxin, the man Nangong Yi. As for their levels-"
"All right, before that, I would like to talk about another matter." Bai Zemin interrupted her. He did not want everyone present to know the levels of people who in the future might be important.
Shangguan Bing Xue frowned slightly as she thought it was a bit impolite of Bai Zemin to interrupt her mid-dialogue. However, she soon calmed down and that little displeasure magically disappeared.
After everyone was silent, Bai Zemin began to explain some things that were bothering him.
"As you all or at least most of you already know, our camp has a simple order divided into three levels, namely; Normal Citizens, Noble Citizens, and Royalty. This type of order was sufficient in the past as the amount of people under our control was not that large, but little by little that number has been increasing, and in the future it will undoubtedly grow even more."
Some people's eyes glittered slightly when they heard this. Many of them had already realized that the current social system had several problems, but the biggest problem that needed to be solved as soon as possible was the distinct difference in status.
Humans were greedy and competitive beings by nature. With a clear social distinction, some would naturally feel dissatisfied. But at the same time, that dissatisfaction could become the spark that in the future would light the fuse, thus making more and more people strive to climb higher.
Bai Zemin explained a few more things to make some matters clear for those who did not understand and then continued:
"The ancient society collapsed completely. There is no doubt about it."
Everyone was silent and some even nodded unconsciously. It had already been a month since the apocalypse broke out but except for one camp apparently led by a mayor, the central government did not give the slightest news or sign. No one had any hope in the appearance of the Chinese government or army; they knew they were on their own.
"Since the old society collapsed, I decided to establish a new one. " Bai Zemin declared in a deep voice followed by gasps from some people.
Several people present became agitated as they understood what Bai Zemin meant by those words.
Little Luo Ning, who was barely nine years old, looked at Bai Zemin with her big pure eyes and asked innocently, "Big brother, what do you mean by a new society?"
Bai Zemin chuckled and while looking at the girl replied half-jokingly half-seriously, "That means big brother wants to be a King!"
"Woah! Big brother, if you become a king then I want to be a pretty princess!" Luo Ning's eyes sparkled and a big smile appeared on her face. She apparently liked the idea of him being a king.
"Hahaha!" Bai Zemin laughed merrily and while moving the Mana out his body, he made Luo Ning's body float with ease and make her sit on his lap, to which the girl responded with a burst of happy laughter.
However, the reaction of the people in the room was quite mixed. Unlike the innocent little girl, the adults knew what Bai Zemin's words meant.
"This... A King?" Nangong Yi couldn't help but be dumbfounded. He looked at the young man sitting in the main seat as if he was looking at a madman, "You're... You're joking, aren't you?"
Bai Zemin looked at him slightly and his lips curved upward slightly.
"What do you think?" he replied rhetorically. His voice was as serious as could be.
Fu Qigang finally couldn't sit idly by after hearing Bai Zemin's words and seeing that he really meant what he said.
"Wait, wait a moment! A king? Bai Zemin, that would be the same as going against-" His words caught in his throat and he could not continue. No one attacked him, but he himself realized that what he was about to say was nonsensical.
Government? Where was the government now? In fact, was there really even an active government?
As for the army... Fu Qigang was quite an experienced military man, but even then he and his men were kicked aside like dogs and even several brothers were shot to death by those who in the past were their comrades.
In the end, Fu Qigang sighed and his shoulders slumped as he sat with a helpless look on his face. This military man who in the past enjoyed the rank of Sergeant realized that trying to return China to the China of the past was nothing more than a deluded and childish dream.
Wasn't he wearing the armor of a monster never seen before? Today it was evolved or mutated leather armor that replaced bulletproof vests, tomorrow, war tanks could be replaced by some kind of magical weapon built from monster materials.
With the intervention of mana, the world was changing. People were changing too. So, the rules, the lifestyle, and society as a whole needed to change to adapt to the changes as well.
After thinking about this, Fu Qigang's mood improved remarkably. He looked at Bai Zemin and said earnestly, "As long as you do not harm innocents, I am willing to serve you with my life!"
"Let me welcome you again then." Bai Zemin chuckled and nodded with a satisfied expression. Whatever thoughts Fu Qigang might have, a brave and experienced soldier was more than welcome.
Bai Zemin looked at everyone present and asked with a calm expression on his face:
"Are any of you not satisfied with what I said?"
The people looked at each other but no one stood up. Many were afraid that Bai Zemin would explode their heads with a punch.
Surprisingly, the first person to speak was Cai Jingyi:
"Leader, if you allow me..."
"Go ahead." He nodded calmly. He knew what she wanted to say; the girl was trying to clear up doubts from the others.
Cai Jingyi sighed in relief that he wasn't angry and then she continued:
"If you want to become a King, then what will happen to the current social system?"
Bai Zemin did not hesitate and said, "I plan to use the social pyramid used in the Middle Ages but with some modifications."
Shangguan Bing Xue, Wu Yijun, Chen He, and the rest looked at him waiting for his next words. The looks varied, but Bai Zemin did not seem to mind as he continued speaking.
"Starting from the highest to the lowest position: king, high nobility and army, low nobility, high citizens, low citizens... And lastly, serfs... also known as slaves!"
Chen He and Wu Yijun sucked in cold air when they heard the word slaves. Although they had somehow already expected it, this did not lessen the shock they felt. As members of high-powered families in China's government or military, slavery was something they could not agree to no matter what. This was not something as simple as principles; their upbringing from birth prevented them from believing it!
Forget about them, everyone in the room freaked out. Still, no one dared to interrupt.
Shangguan Bing Xue frowned and seemed to want to say something but suddenly, as if realizing something, the corner of her lips lifted slightly and her eyes glittered playfully.
Bai Zemin explained the social system and the divisions.
There was no need to explain that the King was the absolute ruler.
The high nobility was divided into a few minor subgroups; Arch Duke, Duke, and Marquis.
The ranks of the army would remain the same as today but with some minor changes.
The lower nobility was divided into three minor subgroups just like the high nobility: Count, Viscount, Baron.
Normal citizens had no subdivisions. This large group was composed of all those who worked. Their treatment could vary depending on the merits achieved through their work.
The low citizens did not have subdivisions either. They were all those who did nothing and except for slaves were the lowest caste. They would all eat the worst of meals, sleep in the worst of accommodations, and enjoy zero privilege as they had no private property and even the clothes they wore did not belong to them. They were like slaves with the only difference being that they were still free to leave at will.
"As for the slaves..." Bai Zemin paused and a cold light flashed in his eyes.
"Those who betray the group will be executed, their family turned into slaves and forced to do hard labor. Even if a member of the lower nobility decides to kill them or play with them at will there is no problem at all."
"Those who strongly oppose in the King's way, once captured and neutralized, will be given the opportunity to join a new military troop where they can earn merits and be like any other citizen. But if they resist even then, they will be forced to become slaves for the rest of their lives!"
"Those who rape or kill innocents will be turned into slaves. But if anyone dares to touch a single hair of a small child, that person will be executed. No exception!"
Bai Zemin's voice was as cold as ice. Especially at the end; his voice seemed to be that of a demon from hell. As everyone looked at little Luo Ning who seemed oblivious to everything as she sat on his lap, they all noticed that the leader seemed to be quite kind to children.
The room was silent for a long time.
While those small leaders of a small squad of armed men looked anxiously around, as they knew that their real status was not enough to interfere in this kind of talks and decisions, those who did have the power of speech lowered their heads and plunged into deep thoughts.
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