My Post-Apocalyptic Shelter Levels Up Infinitely! - Chapter 506 - Enter The City, Baffled By The Other Race!
Chapter 506 Enter The City, Baffled By The Other Race!
It was the first time Su Mo stepped outside his territory. He only truly started relaxing once he fully stepped beyond the territory’s border. As the two-carriage caravan continued on, he turned and took a few glances at the territory that was now shrinking in the distance, as well as at Oreo who was standing by the edge of territory, veiled behind the curtain of rain-quietly watching him. Su Mo’s face could not help but reveal a trace of relief.
Secretly, Su Mo waved his hands at Oreo. He watched as Oreo sprinted back into the heart of the territory after acknowledging his instructions.
Then, he turned and sat up straight. In the eyes of others, he was seemingly “meditating” with his eyes closed. However, the truth of the matter was Su Mo was absorbing an endless stream of information from the mark! He had spent twenty thousand survival points to gain full control over the mark’s usage authority, which came with implicit benefits -benefits that should not be underestimated or ignored. The information contained within included the memories of Harl the dwarf, and even basic information about the demon race.
It was different from what he had imagined. The hierarchies within the demon race were so strict to the point that it could not even be compared with the Ents.
Given the fact that everyone had the ability to disguise themselves, those who possessed superior marks would be able to exert overt pressure over those who possessed inferior marks. Naturally, it was rare to hear of any incidents where ‘inferiors’ perpetrated crimes against the ‘superiors’. As for these mercenaries that were considered property, the owner of these properties had absolute authority over them, just like ordinary goods or assets. In other words, Su Mo could instruct the twelve mercenaries to commit suicide and they would be unable to refuse; they could only carry out their orders. Otherwise, they would receive a backlash effect from the mark and die instantly on the spot.
However, the price of hiring mercenaries was not cheap either. Based on their levels, Level 1 mercenaries would cost approximately 500 contribution points each.
Level 2 mercenaries were marginally more expensive. They could be hired for 1000 contribution points each. As for Level 3 mercenaries, one had to have the foolish brain of Harl to even consider hiring them. Like Harl, anyone who wanted to hire level 3 mercenaries would have to take on a loan worth tens of thousands of contribution points. It would probably be simpler to take things step-by-step and maintain their points at 100 than to try to accomplish such a ‘big job’. Moving upward to Levels 4, 5, and even 6 mercenaries, it became a market where there was no supply regardless of the offered price.
Unless there was some kind of miracle, the marketplace would never see mercenaries of that level.
Speaking of miracles… “Harl, why don’t we return and sell off the dwarven craftsmen templates. Let’s raise some money to redeem our home. Otherwise, we will have to camp outside the city.”
“And once something happens…”
Outside the carriage, the rain continued to pour and wash away the dust and grime.
Turner drew the curtain open. Outside, he could see the mercenaries that had transformed into lizard coolies, who were diligently pulling the carriage. Next, he turned and stared right at Su Mo, whose eyes were shut. Turner swallowed his words again and again.
After pondering things over again and again, he looked at Su Mo’s calm and steadfast expression. In the end, he could not hold himself back; his throat shifted slightly up and down as he finally made the suggestion to sell the templates.
Much like the other major foreign races that had arrived in the New World, which had established cities, the demon race also had established a large gathering camp. Strangely though, their gathering camp was not tied to a single location, but rather shifted around freely.
Upon entering the territory, everyone who possessed the mark could activate their mark to acquire the current location of the gathering camp. Similarly, those who resided in the main city would be transported along with the city itself; their safety was essentially guaranteed. In contrast, those who stayed outside the city could wake up to find that the main city had vanished, leaving them in a perilous state. Based on previous incidents, it was not a big deal if the city vanished. One only needed to acquire its updated location and make haste to the city. However, the circumstances now were different considering that the Light Empire had seemingly descended into madnessinvasions and battles were taking place every two or three days. Once they were abandoned by the main city, it was no different from being given the death penalty. “Why should we sell? Our house is only mortgaged and not actually sold.” Turner was dazed. “But…”
“No buts. I currently still own a hundred percent of the rights to the property. Whoever dares to try and occupy it, will…” “Our funds have almost run dry. After staying for so many days, it’s time for them to spit out some rent.”
Su Mo quickly browsed through the information regarding the situation of the house that Harl’s parents had left him. After realizing that the house had merely been forcefully occupied by others using underhand means, a sneer surfaced on the corner of his mouth.
Since arriving at the wasteland, not one single person had successfully taken advantage of him. In the Doomsday wasteland, bereft of the shackles of common rules and laws, one’s strength and two fists were the best weapons to defend oneself.
Harl the dwarf was not aware of this. Therefore, it was only natural for him to fall prey to such methods. Harl even had a Level 5 template, yet he somehow managed to stumble his way into acquiring a truckload of debt. In the face of Su Mo’s confidence, Turner, who had opened his mouth, could only let out a long silent sigh.
The pitch-black night sky harmonized with the drizzling rain, as the two carriages slowly made their way from east to west.
As they continued on their journey, the wheel trails they left behind were gradually washed out by the falling rain.
In this weather, the group of twenty were traveling rather sluggishly. Fortunately, the territories of the foreign races had not been fully expanded yet.
Even the demon race that relied on their subordinates to expand their territory had only managed to occupy a territory spanning nearly three hundred kilometers in radius.
Based on the location information that the mark transmitted today, the group only had to travel 280 kilometers to reach the gathering camp. Su Mo lay in the carriage whilst listening to the falling rain outside. Initially, he was nervous about venturing outside the territory for the first time.
He would draw the curtains open from time to time to observe the situation outside, and gaze at the end of the horizon that loomed vaguely in the darkness. However, after reassuring himself that the mercenaries were a hundred percent ‘loyal’ and unable to commit any acts against the owners of the marks that hired them, he simply slept inside the carriage while maintaining a certain degree of vigilance.
In this state of vigilance, he would not be able to reap the full benefits of his sleep, and would need to rest longer as compensation.
However, in terms of safety and security, once anyone that harbored ill intent approached within three meters of Su Mo, he would be able to rouse himself and respond immediately.
It was completely different from the sturdy little bed in the Underground Shelter. In the carriage, every bump and swaying motion was felt down to the bone.
It did not take long, but Su Mo had a dream, which was a once in a blue moon experience for him.
Ever since he started consuming psychic energy water, the quality of his sleep had improved dramatically, and the frequency of his dreams had been significantly reduced.
Roughly three months ago, Su Mo had entirely freed himself from the ‘troubles’ of dreaming. Now, after disguising himself as a dwarf, the miraculous effects of the psychic energy water seemed to have been diminished.
The sun soon replaced the moon as time seemingly flew by.
The night passed in the blink of an eye as a new day dawned. It was now the fifth day of the fourth month of the Doomsday Calendar. “Harl, Harl, wake up! We’re almost there!”
In a dazed state, Su Mo did not immediately snap out of his dream when he heard someone calling out Harl’s name.
The next second, he finally realized and remembered that he was Harl. Su Mo then immediately sprung up and sat up straight.
Fortunately, dwarves were short, and there was still room between him and the roof of the carriage, which saved him from the awkward possibility of bumping his head. “Are we there?”
“Almost. There are roughly sixty more kilometers remaining. Come out and eat first. When we enter the city, everything needs money. We’re still burdened by our debts, so let’s make do with this first.”
He pointed to the mercenaries that were stoking the fire to cook food in the distance. Turner’s spirits seemed to be rather high, and he seemed to be glowing radiantly. Su Mo nodded his head and indicated that he wanted to sit down for a while more.
Turner closed the curtains, and Su Mo was left alone sitting in the poorly-lit carriage. Su Mo did not head out but lay down beside the curtains. First, he peeked through a gap in the curtains. He observed the terrain of the surroundings as well as the sun that hovered high in the sky.
Next, through the feedback from the mark, he confirmed his current position and the position of the main city of the territory.
Based on the direction and their traveled distance, the main city of the demon race was located 470 kilometers away, measured in a straight line, southwest of Iron Rock Mountain.
In the modern era, five hundred kilometers was a distance that could be covered within four hours on the highway. However, traveling through the complex terrain of the New World relying on animals and primitive transportation vehicles, five hundred kilometers was a fairly safe distance between the two key locations. In the event of a war, it would take at least ten hours for them to transmit the information, during which they would have time to make adequate preparations.
“Luckily I sent Oreo back with that message.” “Otherwise, during the few days that I might be away, there will definitely be chaos stirring within the territory!”
Su Mo stretched languidly and recalled his dream from last night.
In his dream, the basin area was an unprecedentedly powerful existence. Walls that stretched tens of meters skyward circled the borders of the territory. The residents within were all high-spirited like dragons. It was a grand scene where people and creatures of all races could be seen bowing in worship. Su Mo could not help but feel his spirits rise. He drew the curtains open once more and leapt outside. He planted his feet firmly onto the ground as he adapted himself to his new form. The loose soil could now adequately support the weight of the dwarf.
The world looked vastly different from his previous stature of one hundred and ninety centimeters. At eighty centimeters, the world contained other joys to explore and experience.
The ordinary grass and flowers before now brushed past his calves. Feeling this, Su Mo smiled and raised his head as he walked toward the campfire.
“Master Harl, your breakfast is ready. Let me prepare some water for you to wash up.” It was the vicious Ent from last night that had wanted to smoke him. Right now, however, the Ent was as pleasant and as cute as a chicken.
The Ent extended its branches and retrieved a basin and a kettle of water. The Ent had prepared everything and respectfully presented it on a tray even before Su Mo had approached him.
“Well done, Bard.”
Su Mo’s stern look met the expressionless face of the Ent. After this, he lowered his head and began to brush and wash up.
A person could change instantaneously overnight without a single sound or trace. Nevertheless, previous habits and behaviors could not be changed instantly. Su Mo had acquired roughly 20% of Harl’s memories. Lacking certain details, Su Mo had to guess and fill in the blanks.
However, he was not too concerned about whether his disguise would be seen through by these people. After all, for these mercenaries, as long as he had the mark, they were powerless to do anything even if they believed that the Harl standing before them now was not the same Harl from before.
They could only obey all his commands.
The only potential problem was the dwarf, Turner, who accompanied him day and night. However, it was currently pointless to worry about Turner, so he could only take things one step at a time.
After he brushed and washed up, he sat by a little table that had been spread out. For breakfast, all he had was some salty goop that he forcefully shoved down his throat.
When the two pots of goop were devoured by the group, the carriages resumed their journey.
Filled with food, Su Mo did not sit in the carriage this time. Instead, he marched alongside the carriage. From time to time, he would investigate the situation inside the demon race’s territory.
Unlike the basin area, the soil within the demon race’s territory was evidently more fertile.
This could be observed simply from the swathes of green grass that grew to a height twenty centimeters or so.
At the same time, within the demon race’s territory, Su Mo could feel his body augmented with a layer of buffs. His thoughts were clearer, and even his stamina recovery speed was increased by a notch. It almost felt like he had been freed from some form of shackles. “In ancient times, the saying goes that “a place prospers when it gives birth to men of caliber”. The better the region, the greater the probability of it yielding talents.
“Now that I look at it, it does seem to be true!”
“It is truly peculiar. Is this buff some sort of chain reaction derived from the high potential value of the territory?”.
Currently, the ownership of this land belongs to the demon race, so even the system could not appraise the specific properties of the territory’s potential value. The body of the dwarf walked too slowly. Consequently, the carriages had to slow down significantly to match the stride of his dwarven form.
Realizing this, Su Mo promptly returned to the carriage and sat in front, allowing the mercenaries that pulled the cart to speed up accordingly.
Sixty kilometers remained.
Based on the walking speed of an ordinary person, even if the terrain was just a vast expanse of plains, it would take at least two hours for them to reach their destination.
However, they had the mercenaries who had transformed into lizard coolies. In half an hour, they were already left with less than ten or so kilometers to cover.
Here, even from a distance, Su Mo could see a ‘giant beast’ crawling on the ground at the end of field of vision. Seeing this, Su Mo felt a wave of fear unmatched by any that he felt before.
At a distance of ten kilometers away, even the buildings that were hundreds of meters tall were no taller than an outstretched finger.
Even so, Su Mo could feel the magnificent atmosphere emanating from the city at this distance.
Needless to say, the city covered a colossal area that measured at least tens of thousands of acres!
“We’re back. We’re finally back!”
“The damn dwarven clan. We finally don’t ever have to go back there anymore!” At the sight of the city emerging in the distance, the mercenaries sped up furiously, and even Turner stood up as he mumbled in excitement. Despite all the debts they shouldered, to the group that belonged to the demon race, their return to the city was equivalent to returning to a safe haven.
As he observed the excited expressions on their faces, he thought to himself and stood up; his eyes contained ‘excitement’ as well. However, in contrast, his excitement did not stem from returning to a safe haven.
He would finally have the chance to march into the cities of the foreign races and catch a glimpse of the brilliance of another civilization!
On the wasteland, the base camp of the lion clan or the kobold castle were all merely ordinary small-scale shelters designed for their members to live in.
Due to their small numbers and limited strength, their gathering camps were operated and managed by a single leader, and other social elements did not exist in their base camps.
If he tried to slip in, he would have to worry about his disguise being unmasked by others. However, it was different here in the city of the demon race.
Not only were their numbers aplenty, but they also practiced trading, adventuring and exploration, business, resource harvesting, and even possessed advanced financial instruments such as loans and mortgages.
The depths of their civilization were undoubtedly superior to the other foreign races he had encountered previously.
This was a glimpse of one singular piece that formed part of the entire puzzle. Yet, through the demon race alone, one could glean a general understanding of the standards of other foreign races. It was like killing two birds with one stone! “I wonder whether the city of the Ents is as grand as this. If their neighbors’ cities resembled this one, then what I showed them in the virtual reality dimension was…” “Too conservative!”
He recalled the silly Ent from before who was fooled by the illusions of the village. When he looked at the walls of the demon race’s main city, which were at least sixty meters in height, Su Mo did not know whether to laugh or cry at this comparison. The city of the demon race lacked traces of technology. However, it had a flair that was quite similar to the old Huaxian cities of yore. The walls were uniformly constructed with green and black bricks and stones. The shiny streaks of black that gleamed brightly were equally as brilliant as the rays of sun that illuminated it.
On the top of the walls were watchtowers that were densely distributed at a uniform distance from one another. Evidently, the place was heavily guarded. As for the entrance of the city, the archway was at least twenty meters tall. The ground was paved with stones that were almost similar to the ones on the wall—except that these stones were slightly lighter in color. Currently, the queue was quite short as the verification method they utilized was rather simple. Therefore, entering the city did not take too long “Harl, after we enter the city, do we first head to a place to rest and settle down first, or do
“We will head straight back home. We still have the house. Why would we need to find a place to rest?”
His reply was one that Turner had expected. He smiled wryly and nodded his head numbly. Even before entering the city, Turner had seemingly envisioned the situation that they would soon encounter.
As for the other mercenaries, their spirits were originally high but, at the mention of heading home, they fell silent too. Evidently, the men who occupied Harl’s mortgaged house were not easy to handle.
Su Mo did not bother with these thoughts in his heart as the gates of the city were now almost within his reach. At the entrance, two blocky instruments were placed on opposite sides. Their function was to validate and examine their identities.
At the sight of the gates and the instruments, he calmed himself down as he stood with his head held high on the carriage that was being pulled by the mercenaries. Wah!
With the flash of light, the blue mark interacted with the instruments. In an instant, information was transferred, and a signal that validated his entry was transmitted to the ears of Su Mo.
The next second, the carriages completely entered the city. His field of vision was immediately broadened!
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