The façade of the prestige and strength of the Dragon family was peeled off very quickly after the dispute with the Rice clan. All other neighbours could see the household affairs were rotting to the core.
Many of the Dragon men were addicted to papaver. Also most, if not all, the elite members of the family who were in charge of harvesting, mining, and distributing daily needs to all other people were unscrupulous, selfish and rapacious people. Instead of sharing the family harvest and resources equitably, they selfishly stashed away most of the community property as their own. They then sold their stolen stashes for a huge profit. They needed to hide their ill-gotten gain from the head of the family, Mercy and Wāc. They deposited their illicit assets into the Brass Lyon Bank which promised to give them secured and good return on their money with the full protection of secrecy and confidentiality. The Brass Lyon Bank used the money to further fund the expansion of the trade operation of the KN Enterprise in the papaver and transportation business.
The northern neighbour of the Dragon, Ebrius, noticed how the Rice clan was gaining in wealth and stature. The Ebruis tribe saw the opportunity to grab as much property as possible in the north to expand their enclave.
The leader of Ebruis, Roman, inherited the largest piece of estate in the neighbourhood. He was born into privilege and proud of his heritage. He was a lazy and obtuse individual who wanted to show off his wealth to others. He ordered his servants to march into the northern portion of the Dragon’s estate which included the ancestral burial ground of Wāc and Mercy. The servants received no resistance when they marched into the homes, fields and mines of the Dragons. The family members had no choice but to give up the ownership of their land. They were just too weak and hungry to fight. Then the servants tried to take over the homes of the Erem, a distant cousin of the Dragons in the north. They encountered a neighbour of Erem in the East, Raphan, who claimed to be their protector.
Raphan and Erem were both distant cousins of the Dragon family. They acknowledged each other’s existence but seldom had disputes over their properties. Dragon had most of the land in the centre of the region. Erem’s land was smaller, located in the north east corner. Rahan’s tribe lived across the pond in the east. All three families were self-sufficient and did not need much contact with each other.
When the Rice clan and their other relatives started their ascent to prominence, the Raphan tribe changed its attitude. They were afraid that the Rice clan and others would come with their warriors and occupy their homes by force. Mei, the chief of the Raphan, ordered his most intelligent elders to the Rice territory and surrounding clans to learn their manufacturing and ship building technology in order to advance their fighting capability.
The Raphan tribe was quick to learn, swift to adapt, and extremely hard working and loyal to their chief. They were fierce warriors who would fight to the death rather than surrender. In a short time, the Raphans built a modern arsenal, chariots, gun boats and most of all, legions of powerful fighting men.
To be continue…
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