Milady's Fine Gentleman Chapter 342: LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST 3


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"I lost consciousness and all the hope.  I thought that was the end of me.  But, when I opened my eyes, I found myself in a cozy cottage.  A community found me and took me in.  To this day, I found it enigmatic how this small community that had been hanging on a thread basically to live every single day still found a space for me there.  They took care of me and shared with me whatever they have, no matter how scarce the resources were."

"I stayed with them these past years and did what I could to help them survive.  Each damn passing day was such a challenge.  Children die because there was not enough food and medication.  The area was too behind.  Their condition was heart-wrenching.  I tried my best to reach to the local government, but they would not come to help.  Well, they would, once or twice, or very few times.  They would start a program, but it was shortlived.  These people had to eat daily, and some of them were inflicted with chronic and terminal illnesses.  The livelihood was dead.  There were no crops and no poultry.  There were no fish in the sea.  The sea was dead, and the land was rotting."

"The citizens there told me that it had not been the case before.  They thrived prosperously farming their lands aplenty with crops, and fishing shrimps and crabs and various kinds of fish from the sea.  Their world crumbled when several years ago, their island – their sea – was contaminated with oil.  There had been a major oil spill, they said, which eventually infiltrated the land as well.  It was too immense and serious that it wasn't contained on time and correctly, and instead of finishing the drill, the local agencies helping at the time withdrew their fleets and left the island to rot."

"I simply could not leave the island.  The people there offered to send me off so that I can return to you, my family, but I refused.  I knew that by doing so, I would be stealing them their precious resources.  And by doing so, some of them would have to pay it with their lives.  I would not be able to carry that burden in my conscience for the rest of my life."

"And so… I helped them with what I know… And…"

"Well, I somehow led them as I became…"

"A pirate."

The Xue family that were listening attentively all gasped in horror.  Being in the shipping industry, piracy was one of the threats that they encountered operationally.  They had to be vigilant against these sea thieves, and yet the blood of their own became one?  Not just anyone, it was the young master himself, the heir of the shipping empire.

Pirates were enemies of ships and the government.

"I had to do it out of desperation.  I knew all our ships, and I only led our men aboard those ships.  We had not hurt anyone and would not engage in violence."

"I only took what's ours… What belongs to Xue's."

"Still!  A pirate? Brother?!?" Xue Guangxi exclaimed in horror.

Xue Minhe turned his head to look at his younger brother with such sad eyes.  "I am not happy with what I turned out to be, but it's inevitable.  When faced with matters of survival, you would have to make do with what options are available."

"I tried to introduce myself as who I really am with our crew.  It was the crew of MT Lady Natalie 9, I could still remember clearly.  I said I am Xue Minhe, the young master of the Xue family."

"The crew just laughed."

"I couldn't blame them.  Who would have believed a pauper's words anyway?  I didn't have any identification of some sort.  Who, in their right minds, would take a stranger's words lightly?  Why would the Xue young master be at such a horrid place, right?  I seemed like a joke."

"The situation taught me well - that the real world could not be sugarcoated.  No matter how sheltered we are, Guangxi, when we walk out of our family's door, we would be subjected to the same earthly conditions just like everyone else, no exemptions."

Xue Guangxi shuddered.  He could remember how flustered his older sister was whenever problems with pirates were encountered in the South.  What a twist of fate it was to learn that at the other end, his older brother was responsible for it?

Xue Minhe continued the tale of how he had met Chen Linyun last year when he had acted out of his kindness to help this pitiful, desolate community.

"Chen Linyun helped the community to improve their quality of life.  With his business, investments came pouring into the place.  He brought other types of livelihood into the community such as weaving, textile production, and the likes.  He even helped refurbish the island.  The local government had become very much involved and interested in pursuing their programs which they had given up before."

"Turns out they just need some support and push from the private sector."

Chen Linyun who had rejoined them on the couch spoke for the first time.  "It was serendipity that I saw Brother-in-law there.  The people called him Bai An and talked highly of him.  Even if we wouldn't cross paths intentionally on the streets, people there would refer me to talk to him."

"That's how I met him.  When I first saw him, I was stunned seeing my wife's face on his.  I was astounded beyond measure.  That's when my instinct told me that he could be Jinxu's long lost twin brother.  The semblance was far too great." 

Zhao Feiyan took Chen Linyun's right hand into hers and clasped it.  Her eyes reflected solemnity of a mother who's simply grateful to the person who saved her son.  "Then we owe you a lot, son.  If it weren't for you, Minhe would not be able to go back to us."

"I had not done anything out of the norm, Mother.  Even if it's not Brother-in-law I would still have done what I have done.  The first time I heard about the pirate attack at that place I had already been quite interested.  I vowed to myself to go check on it."
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