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Backstory

        A government supply ship was sailing on the sea while calls of help rang one after another. The government officials hurriedly walked onto the deck and found people floating on the surface of the sea, so they promptly threw them a rope and helped them board the ship. All the people wore ragged clothes, and their bodies were covered with scars and wounds...

        “Why were you floating on the sea? Were you in an accident?” The officials handed food and clothing to the rescued. They immediately started eating as if they had starved for a long time. After eating enough food and changing into proper clothing, the people explained, “There was a captain who took us onto his ship to work for him, but he kept torturing us. It took us a lot of effort to escape from him!” While they told their story, tears began to flow down their face. The officials consoled them: “No worries. You are safe now!” Upon hearing this, they started bawling. Some of them even kissed on the officials’ hands as a token of gratitude, prompting the officials to embarrassedly withdraw their hands.

        The officials returned to their posts after taking care of the survivors. Just then, a gigantic white ship slowly approached. The ship appeared to resemble a normal merchant ship, so the officials did not take particular notice of it. A man in an elegant captain suit walked onto the government ship from the white ship. When the survivors saw the man, they all trembled: “C...Captain Francis!” “This is the captain who’s been torturing you?” The slaves nodded, their eyes still gazing at the man.

        Francis bowed to the officials and politely said, “Dear officials, I am here to retrieve my slaves. I have paid money to hire them for ninety-nine years, but they have only served for less than ten, so I am here to take them back.” “We represent the government. Knowing that they have suffered from your beatings, we are bound to protect them!” The officials showed their devotion toward helping the weak, but were surprised to see the slaves dash to Francis and kiss his black leather shoes. They seemed extremely happy: “Master Francis! We’ve been waiting for you!”

        The officials thought they were afraid of being tortured again and hence said, “Don’t be afraid! Just tell us everything and we’ll sue him for you!”

        “Don’t come in between our relationship! No one in the realm treats us as nice as Master Francis!”

        The officials were all startled by their contradictory claims.

        Francis walked to the officials and said, “See? There is absolutely no problem with our relationship. It was all a misunderstanding. So, can I take them away now?” The officials still could not understand what was going on, but they did not have a reason to stop him either, so they let him take the slaves back to his ship.

        After they boarded their own ship, one of the slaves reached into his pockets, took out a golden slime and handed it to Francis: “Master! This is what you asked us to find on the government ship!” Francis opened his pocket watch, discontent palpable on his face: “Nine minutes and fifteen seconds...You took nine minutes and fifteen seconds! I wanted you to search it because I didn’t want to waste any time. I paid for ninety-nine years of your service, and you wasted nine minutes and fifteen seconds of it! How are you gonna repay me?!”

        “We are willing to prolong our service indefinitely!”

        “Humph! A bunch of chickens!” Francis was a pirate who specialized in undertaking missions. As long as someone could pay him, Francis would find anything for them. From the intelligence he had obtained, he learned that the government ship had what his “customer” wanted, so he committed a stealthy theft to get his job done. Francis kicked the slaves onto the floor and punched them. The slaves cried painful tears, but their words were on the contrary: “That’s not enough! Master Francis, please punish us more! We’re blessed to be punished!” While screams and screeches reverberated throughout the ship, they had already sailed to the preassigned destination for the “transaction”.

        The buyer, wearing a neat and tidy suit, boarded the ship. He was also wearing ten gold necklaces. One could tell in a glance that he was a rich man.

        “You’ve got what I want, right?” Thinking of the treasure nearby, the buyer was unusually excited. With slaves standing between the two of them, Francis took out the golden slime. Just as the buyer reached out his hand to touch it, Francis put it away and said, “300 million.” “300? I thought we agreed on 100 million.” Francis’ lips were spread in a sly smile and he placed the slime under the scorching sun. The slime’s face distorted, and its body started to dry up. Francis then continued, “350 million.” “Wait!” “380.” “Put it back under the shades, won’t you? It’s dying!” “400 million.” “Okay! Okay! Can you just put it back?” Witnessing how the precious treasure was tormented, the buyer had no choice but to pay, no matter how expensive it was. Receiving a satisfying answer, Francis put the golden slime back into a wooden box and a bright smile spread across his face: “Thank you.” The slaves immediately began counting the money from the transaction for Francis.

        Before leaving, the buyer said to Francis, “You really are a piece of work! You’re able to find what others can’t!” Francis did not reply. Instead, his slaves answered, “To our master, time is money. You’re no longer his customer, so shut it!” When the buyer wanted to say something else, he and the slime were kicked back onto the buyer’s ship. When he turned to admonish them, the white ship had already disappeared...

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