Chapter 337: A Declining Empire
Translator: WQL Editor: Millman97
Zhang Tie didn't get out of the taxi; instead, he carefully glanced at Philip. He still wasn't sure if he was being teased by them.
This kind of parody in public dated back to a time before the Catastrophe. The people who took part in these pranks or special scenes would tease the 'victim' to make those who were hiding aside laugh out loudly.
Zhang Tie had read about it before. This kind of parody was very popular before the Catastrophe; however, Zhang Tie had not seen such a thing before. He had not imagined that there was someone so bored in Jinhai City.
"Listen, my time is very precious; if this is a joke, I hope it comes to an end right now. If not, there will be very serious consequences!" Gazing at Philip, Zhang Tie warned him in very adroit and standard Hebrew.
Both the baldheaded driver and Philip were slightly shocked by Zhang Tie's fluent use of Hebrew. Only a few Chinese could speak Hebrew in this age, because Chinese was almost the standard diplomatic language for many countries, especially in Hebrew-spoken regions. In many cases, it had become a symbol of nobility and high social status if one could speak Chinese very fluently.
"Sir, as a diplomat of Holy Golden Orchid Empire, I truly feel shameful about the embarassing state of the Empire's Embassy in Jinyun Country. However, there's a reason for this. If you don't mind, I would like several minutes of your time to explain the reason. This is a tradegy of the country. Whereas, now that your time is very precious, we can talk about this question after I deal with the ID certificate for you. How do you feel?"
Gazing at Philip's embarrassed face, Zhang Tie threw 10 silver coins to that baldheaded driver before getting off the taxi. When he took out the silver coins, Zhang Tie noticed the shrewed light in Philip's eyes.
'It's only 10 silver coins. Do you need to be that thirsty for it?' Zhang Tie sighed inside, 'It seems that this embassy is more awful than I imagined. It's definitely a wonder!"
Seeing Zhang Tie getting off the car, Philip, the senior commercial counsellor of Holy Golden Orchid Empire's Embassy in Jinyun Country, became so diligent that he instantly guided Zhang Tie into the Embassy. This Embassy was really like that illegal agency's office which relied on cheating those foreigners nearby the railway station of Blackhot City.
"How could your embassy become so awful?" Zhang Tie asked in Chinese.
"It's a long story, sir. In the past 15 years, our embassy has not been able to gain even a copper coin for our budget from our country. What's worse, we have to submit an amount of gold coins to the country. The former embassy in the capital of Jinyun Country was auctioned 7 years ago. Since then, we've moved to Huaiyuan Prefecture of Yiyang City; after that, we moved to Stars Viewing City. Finally, with the help of some kind-hearted businessmen of the empire, we settle down here because of the cheap rent!"
When he explained, Philip looked like a dried bitter gourd.
"To tell the truth, even the center of any government-in-exile is much better than here!" Zhang Tie put it straightly.
"That's true! At least government-in-exile could gain a bit sympathy; not like us, if I leave here, I would even feel embarrassed to tell others that I am a diplomat!"
When they finished talking, Philip had already guided Zhang Tie in.
There were various photos, documents, and files in the showcases on two sides of the corridor, which might be used to make this place more imposing.
From the inside of one cheap glass showcase, Zhang Tie noticed the credentials that Holy Golden Orchid Empire had submitted to Jinyun Country, on which the seal of the state and the seal of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Holy Golden Orchid Empire could be clearly seen.
At the sight of this, Zhang Tie really widened his eyes. He felt that it was worthwhile even to be cheated by them. 'They're really f*cking professional! It was really great for them to counterfeit a letter of credence only for a few gold coins.' Zhang Tie had not seen such a senior document since he was born.
Noticing Zhang Tie becoming very interested in that letter of credence, Philip hurriedly started to introduce it from aside.
"Actually, there was another letter of credence submitted from the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Jinyun Country to Holy Golden Orchid Empire here. Later on, under the strict protest and negotiation of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Jinyun Country, we passed that letter of credence back to our country. This one left was brought by the new ambassador when he took office a few years ago. We don't submit it to the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Jinyun Country; instead, we just keep it here; no matter what, no one cares about it!"
When Philip introduced that letter of credence in the showcase to Zhang Tie, a sound drifted from a door aside while a man with whiskers and a big stomach in a loose shirt yawned and walked into the room.
At the sight of Zhang Tie, that man blinked his eyes as he became spirited at once, "Yo, you got a business today, Philip. We can have a good dinner tonight!"
Philip then rubbed his face by hand in an embarrassed way and introduced that guy to Zhang Tie, "Sorry, sir, I will give you an introduction about him; this is Colonel Gucci, the military attache of our embassy!"
"Where are Belli and Ary? Shouldn't they on sentry duty outside? Are they working in the wharf as carriers yet again?" Colonel Gucci swore as he rubbed his stomach, "Alas, smelling that food downstairs, I want to have a drink again. Philip, do you have money? Lend me a silver coin; I want a bottle of alcohol!"
However, hearing his words, Philip just ignored that guy as he directly pulled Zhang Tie away, "I will take you to the office of ambassador Nicolay. All the ID certificates in the embassy are arranged by Mr. Nicolay. This is the main source of income of the embassy!"
After turning a corner in the corridor, Philip took Zhang Tie in front of an office. He then knocked at the door. Receiving no response, he knocked at the door once again. Still not receiving a response, Philip directly pushed open the door and entered. He woke up a thin old man who was sleeping behind a desk by shaking him. After that, he whispered near the old man's ears. Hearing this, the old man instantly sat up straight and gazed at Zhang Tie with gleaming eyes.
"Hello, I'm Nicolay, the ambassador of Holly Golden Orchid Empire in Jinyun Country. Philip told me that you want an ID certificate?"
Since he entered this 'alleged' embassy, Zhang Tie had already figured out the existing state of it. Although it sounded great, it was actually a makeshift organization which was nothing different from those poor, small, illegal agencies.
The moment Zhang Tie entered the door, Philip had already pulled over a chair for Zhang Tie. After sitting down, Zhang Tie popped out a gold coin, which fell onto Philip's hand with a delicate arc, "Your tip!"
Philip swiftly seized that gold coin and foisted it into his own pocket. With a big smile, he replied, "Thank you, sir, your generosity really makes my effort worthwhile. It's my great honor to serve you!"
Seeing this, ambassador Nicolay's Adam's apple quivered as he forcefully swallowed his saliva and instantly jumped over here which could be rarely seen at his age. After being in front of Zhang Tie, he bent over with a big smile, "What can I do for you sir?"
Legs crossed, Zhang Tie patted his hand on the desk and instantly gained the initiative, "Tell me what kind of ID certificates you can deal with here?"
"We can deal with the official ID certificate of the citizen of Holy Golden Orchid Empire!" After saying this, Nicolay turned his head and ordered Philip, "Go make a cup of tea for this honorable sir. Use the best tea leaves that I've collected!"
Receiving the order, Philip left jubilantly.
"Is that a fake ID certificate?"
"It's real. It's absolutely a real ID certificate, with which, you could access Holy Golden Orchid Empire for free." Saying this, Nicolay became thrilled, "This is a business of our embassy!"
"Is it okay even if I'm not a citizen of Holy Golden Orchid Empire?" Zhang Tie wondered.
"It's okay. Definitely okay! Because Holy Golden Orchid Empire is an extremely open country which accepts the existence of multiple nationalities. Anyone who wants to join Holy Golden Orchid Empire will be welcomed in our country, regardless of their race, belief, or former nationality. With only a few gold coins and a simple ceremony, we will deal with the relevant procedures for you as soon as possible!"
'F*ck, this world is marvelous.' Zhang Tie mocked himself for being ignorant inside. He had not imagined there was such a bizarre country on Waii Sub-continent. Compared to this embassy, those faking ID certificates were really dwarfed.
With a cup of hot tea, Philip carefully walked over here and put it onto the teapoy in front of Zhang Tie. The moment Zhang Tie noticed that small defect on one side of the tea cup and a few "good tea" leaves which looked like straws, Zhang Tie instantly lost his appetite.
"I suddenly become a bit interested in your country. Introduce your Holy Golden Orchid Empire to me, please. Such a country really sounds attractive!"
With Nicolay and Philip's introduction, Zhang Tie started to better understand the Holy Golden Orchid Empire.
"Holy Golden Orchid country was established after the first holy war between human beings and demons. Although it's not prosperous, it is a second-class country on the continent. It has a population of over 26 million people at that moment and covered 6.8 million square meters. The country was composed of dozens of cities, small and big; it's also a member of the central state alliance of mankind on Waii Sub-Continent.
The only reason that caused Holy Golden Orchid Empire decline was the unparalleled, bizarre king of the country--Heiger VII.
What if a person who just indulged in wildest fantasy everyday became an emperor? Holy Golden Orchid Empire was the best example.
Heiger VII took the throne at the age of 16. After that, the first thing he did was to take out half of the national treasury to summon various persons who had excellent workmanship so as to build a weird aircraft which could match the plane created by mankind before the Catastrophe which could fly faster than sound...
According to his illusion, besides flying much faster than the airships of this age, this kind of aircraft could also transform into machine warriors on the ground, which could destroy everything. Heiger VII dreamed to build the only high-reaching troop in this age.
The word "high-reaching" was dubbed by Heiger VII himself. For its meaning, nobody understood it, even now. No matter what, based on Heiger VII's description, as long as Holy Golden Orchid Empire had such a troop, the empire would be able to conquer the whole world easily.
Heiger VII's dream shocked everybody; however, due to his pursuit for his dream, this country's national treasury was used up in only 2 years.
It was said that the reason Heiger VII was very mad about flying in the air and creating that strange high-reaching troop lay in some military books about the age before the Catastrophe that he had read in the imperial library of the empire. Nobody knew which military books he read; although there were millions of books in the Imperial Library of Holy Golden Orchid Empire, few people could enter it.
Therefore, Heiger VII's dream to make a plane became a terrifying bottomless hole, which not only consumed all the national treasury of Holy Golden Orchid Empire like water flow but also caused a crazier idea.
Heiger VII was not only a mad dreamer, but also a kind man. On the second year after he took the throne, he had abolished the death penalty of Holy Golden Orchid Empire, even though many people didn't agree.
On the 3rd year after he took the throne, he performed an inspection in a drought-stricken area of Holy Golden Orchid Empire. After that, he abolished all the taxes that had been levied on average citizens since the founding of the country and added "No Tax Forever" into the "Holy Code" of the empire, which had not been done by any former emperors of Holy Golden Orchid Empire.
On the 4th year, at the age of 20, he made a crazy decision in order to comfort the officials' fury about him and gain enough R&D expenditure so as to build the marvelous machine in his dream.
As long as the officials of the empire vowed to be loyal to the imperial household of Holy Golden Orchid Empire forever, swore to follow the "Holy Code" and paid a great amount of money in terms of their own positions, after signing an agreement and document, they would be able to change their current position into family hereditary positions.
Receiving this news, all the officials of the empire became mad...
As a result, numerous hereditary positions were sold by Heiger VII while countless wealth flew into the national treasury of the empire. After that, all the wealth was used to pursue for his exotic dream...
Heiger VII's crazy dream lasted 10 years. During that period, the Holy Golden Orchid Empire had almost been ruined by that lunatic. When everybody thought that Heiger VII would return to the normal track by giving up his terrifying dream, Heiger VII got a new dream.
Heiger VII finally woke up from that high-reaching dream; yet he immersed himself into the deep and profound Chinese culture on the Eastern Continent. He learned that there was a strange secret fist skill on the Eastern Continent which could block 500 kg's strength with only 0.2 kg's strength and defeat powerful one with weak body. Additionally, it could be learned by both male and female. Heiger VII was fascinated by this skill. He then took a great number of followers and flew to the Eastern Continent by airship without caring about Holy Golden Orchid Empire at all.
Heiger VII planned to bring back that marvelous fist skill and let all the citizens of Holy Golden Orchid Empire master it. By then, Holy Golden Orchid Empire would easily conquer the world too.
It took him another 12 years for him to return.
When he returned, the country didn't need an emperor any more as it had run 12 years without an emperor.
After a deep reflection, Heiger VII finally woke up, enlightened and sublimed...
High-reaching, fist, power, all this was bullsh*t. Heiger VII found that only light and love were the forever truth in the universe.
"As long as we have light and love in our hearts, one day, even demons would be moved by our selfless love. I will build Holy Golden Orchid Empire into a Paradise full of love and light. As long as you have love and light, you would be the citizen of Holy Golden Orchid Empire..." Heiger VII declared when he was celebrating his birthday at the age of 40.
This year, Heiger VII had reached 58 years old. After ruling Holy Golden Orchid Empire over 40 years, it was really a miracle for the country to still remain complete while the capital Aulis is still in the hands of imperial household.
Thanks to the resistance of all the imperial members, the taxes of Aulis were not embezzled by that mad emperor to carry out his great undertaking of "light and love" which could move demons. That amount of money could only roughly afford the imperial army of over 20,000 imperial army and the daily expense of the imperial palace.
"Previously the position foreign secretary was not profitable; however, after it was bought by Hillary family, people realized that it is really profitable. At least, after selling all the real estates of the country's embassies and consulates, the Hillary family would get back their investment from this position!" Saying this, Nicolay looked very admirable and regretful.
Zhang Tie was really dumbfounded by such a bizarre emperor and such a bizarre country, 'What the f*ck...'