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amaliaverdezoto > Dragon King with Seven Stars > Chapter 3 – Flowered Flags
Chapter 3 – Flowered Flags

Part 1

April 16. Afternoon.

For Song Changsheng, the day started like any other day. But after lunch, something happened that would never again happen in his lifetime.

Song Changsheng owned the only coffin shop in Liu Village. [1]

Perhaps because the residents of Liu Village lived simple lives, and had relatively long life expectancies, business wasn’t very good. Sometimes income wasn’t even enough to cover expenses. Who would have ever thought that he would get some business after lunch?

He sat drowsily behind the counter. The april wind blew in through the window and across his old, languid frame. It seemed as if it were not content.

Even more annoying, just when he fell asleep, he got woken up by a young beggar.

Usually, when beggars came calling, he would at least give them a couple copper coins. But today he didn’t give anything.

Who could have imagined that the beggar would pull out a bunch of silver pieces and hand them over.

It turned out the young beggar hadn’t come to ask for alms.

“I want to buy some coffins. Five of them. Is this enough silver?”

Song Changsheng stared in shock.

To be wrapped in a straw mat after death was usually good enough for a beggar, yet this young beggar wanted, not just a coffin, but five coffins.

Song Changsheng had been in the coffin business for thirty years, and had never encountered a situation as strange as this.

Even more strange, after loading the coffins onto the cart, he traveled with the young beggar outside of the village to a mulberry forest to collect the corpses, except there were no corpses to be seen.

“No corpses? Why did you buy the coffins?”

He wanted to ask this of the young beggar, but he’d already disappeared. And he’d left behind the over twenty pieces of silver he’d paid for the coffins.

You might think the young beggar was playing some kind of practical joke, but the pieces of silver were no joke.

The more Song Changsheng thought about it, the less it made sense.

Even more unimaginable, just when he returned to his shop with the five coffins, another person came looking to buy.

This time, the buyer was another beggar. And he also bought five coffins!

This beggar had a face covered with pockmarks, and looked much fiercer than the earlier young beggar.

Song Changsheng didn’t dare to ask any questions other than, “The deceased you intend to place in the coffins, where are they? Where shall I send coffins to?”

With an expressionless face, the pockmarked beggar said, “That’s a secret. A secret worth your life.” His manner of speaking solemn, he continued, “If you knew who the deceased are, I’m afraid you wouldn’t live another day.”

With that, he procured his own cart to take the coffins away. Song Changsheng was so scared he couldn’t speak.

***

He couldn’t sleep the whole night.

Part 2

The young beggar was as confused as Song Changsheng as to why the corpses by the mulberry forest suddenly disappeared.

When he’d left, they were there. And they were definitely dead.

Goiter-man had put every last drop of power into his fist, apparently expecting to die together with the young beggar. So when his attack hit the tree, he’d dropped dead.

The other four corpses were already growing cold.

Before leaving, the young beggar examined the bodies closely.

He didn’t really want to buy coffins for them.

They’d tried to steal his money and kill him, and it wasn’t easy to get silver. He’d prefer to spend silver on sweets, bread, alcohol and meat. Or maybe put into the the gong of the girl with the braids and long legs.

But he still went to buy the coffins.

If one wants to live, it’s hard to avoid situations where you have to do something you don’t really want to.

***

It was impossible for the young beggar to guess who had taken away the corpses. And even more impossible for him to know that the pockmarked b

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