Chapter 348 – River Law City
It was in the afternoon when Zhao Hai's convoy reached River Law City. Not only was River Law City right beside Law river, the water used for its moat was directly sourced from the river itself. They artificially redirected a small portion of water from the river effectively making a branch route for the water to pass through. Because of this, aside from the ordinary city gates, there were also two water gates allowing mid and small sized ships to approach the city.
River Law City was very big, it was a city large enough to support a million residents. In an era where high rise buildings were uncommon, you can imagine how huge such a city was.
Zhao Hai's group entered the city through its west gate. Once they entered, Zhao Hai could feel the peculiarities of this city. First, there were a lot of people walking around, more numerous than other large sized cities back in Aksu Empire. The cities streets were extremely dense with people. If these people didn't wear different clothes, Zhao Hai would have thought that he had returned back to China.
Fortunately there were so many escorts to open the way for them. The pedestrians immediately made way upon seeing their carriages.
Before long, the group arrived at the front door of River Law City's Shelley Hotel. This branch was quite different from other branches. The hotel was very high, Zhao Hai could count more than a dozen floors in the building. Without concrete, it was very difficult to build a structure that high.
As soon as they arrived at the hotel, the attendants inside immediately welcomed them. The attendants knew Might, so they immediately took charge in taking care of the mounts towards the back courtyards.
The same was with Zhao Hai's carriage. Zhao Hai didn't need to worry about it since there was someone who came and took care of their carriage. When the group entered the hotel, the hotel's manager came to greet them. The manager was called Amare, he had a very tall and big stature. If he didn't wear silk made business clothing, Zhao Hai might have mistook him for a warrior.
The manager didn't say any nonsense to Zhao Hai and immediately arranged for their accommodations. The manager gave them the best suites in the hotel and let Zhao Hai and the others rest.
What surprised Zhao Hai was that there was an elevator inside the hotel that looked like it ran on electricity. But upon closer inspection, it was in fact powered by magic. Zhao Hai wasn't the only one surprised, Laura was also quite shocked.
One must know that the energy used by such an elevator wasn't free. One could imagine the upkeep costs of such a contraption. Aside from Shelley hotel, no other place would dare install such a thing.
The biggest difference between River Law City's Shelley hotel and other places was that there were so many guests here, so business was extremely booming. Here, well-dressed nobility who wore silk clothing wasn't uncommon. Merchants who wore the same level of quality clothes were also present, further showing the exquisiteness of the hotel.
When the other guest saw Zhao Hai, they didn't care too much. Zhao Hai was walking together with Might so they just thought that he was someone from the Shelley Family.
After settling in the hotel, Zhao Hai immediately released a blood hawk to send a letter to Evan. The reason that he didn't send a hawk before was that he didn't know whether they would be able to stay at a single place for a long time. But now that they were inside River Law City, he was now able to send his letter, telling Evan to fetch Ruyen.
Zhao Hai didn't make Shun ride the hawk. The last time was only used to test the hawk's capabilities. This time, such method was unnecessary, moreover, it was currently winter so with the hawk's speed and latitude, the rider would be frozen cold.
Evan's reply came in quick that very night. Evan didn't have Ruyen stay inside River Law City, but he requested Zhao Hai to take her to Sky Water City where he would send a ship to go pick Ruyen up.
This made Zhao Hai surprised, but when it came to mind that Ruyen wasn't a good companion to travel with, Zhao Hai immediately felt a headache.
Ruyen had previously given him trouble back at Iksa Domain. Now that she was behaved, she was extremely behaved, making Zhao Hai doubt deep inside.
The next morning, when Zhao Hai and the others had their breakfast he told Ruyen about Evan's plan for her. Then Zhao Hai asked Might to help them arrange a ship to ride on. Such matter was extremely easy to do for someone like Might. But even then, they couldn't leave today, it has to be the next day.
Zhao Hai didn't mind. Although there were vessels headed for Sky Water City, they couldn't just board one. There were ships which were very attractive for pirates, so just picking any ship wasn't a wise thing to do.
Although Zhao Hai wasn't afraid of them, Might couldn't just allow that to happen. Zhao Hai requested him to prepare a ship for them, so if their ship were to get attacked by pirates, it would be ugly for his reputation.
Since they were going to stay inside River Law City for another day, Zhao Hai didn't just hide inside his hotel room. He went for a stroll around the city while at the same time buying a lot of things, majority of them were some items people from the prairie would need.
What do people in the prairie need the most? First was grain. Second was salt. And third was iron!
Grain, needless to say, was what the prairie lacked the most, followed by salt. As much as the beastmen liked consuming salt, their appetite for iron was just the same. One must know that there was absolutely no way to procure iron from the grasslands, so all the ironworks inside the prairie were most likely brought in from human territory.
But among humans, these three were not that urgently needed. And since Zhao Hai already produces food and grain by himself every single day, he only bought salt and iron as well as other miscellaneous living commodities.
Since he stayed inside the prairie for quite some time, he already knew what people from that place needed the most. And with Laura's help, Zhao Hai didn't worry that he might buy something that was useless.
Regarding Zhao Hai's actions, Might didn't say anything. This was what a businessman would most likely do anyway. If a merchant only thinks of fighting and not make any money, then what kind of merchant would that be?
The next day, Zhao Hai and the others ate their breakfast and prepared to leave. Right outside the city's docks, there was a ship headed towards Sky Water city that the Shelley Family knew quite well. So the group boarded that ship.
When they arrived at the docks, Zhao Hai was shocked. He really underestimated the city's pier. There were no fewer than a thousand large to small sized vessels docked. The largest of them looks like it could carry a thousand jin worth of cargo, and this was not a small number.
It was fortunate that Law river's surface was very wide, while its depth was also very adequate. Otherwise it wouldn't be able to accommodate such a number of ships. Zhao Hai and the others boarded the largest vessel on the dock. The ship was very large, it could carry a thousand jin of cargo quite easily. The ship had three masts and besides loading cargo, it also accepts passengers onboard.
Might had already arranged rooms not only for Zhao Hai's group, but also for their magic beasts.
This was Zhao Hai's first time riding a boat after he arrived at Ark Continent. He had ridden a boat back on Earth, but that ship was already made of steel, he had not been inside a wooden ship before.
After boarding the ship, Might also introduced Zhao Hai to the ship's captain. The captain was called Stack. He grew a full beard on his face, with a tall and big stature, and due to being aboard the ship for years, he had quite a tanned skin that appeared very robust, he also wore a cold expression. But he was extremely amiable when meeting Zhao Hai, it looks like he already knew Might for a long time.
However, his appearance wasn't what attracted Zhao Hai's attention. Upon observing the main, Zhao Hai noticed that he was actually a 7th rank Warrior.
Zhao Hai also paid attention to the crew on board. Their bodies weren't weak, and while they wore weapons, they also operated the several ballistas mounted on the ship.
Zhao Hai actually forgot that these ships needed to be able to protect themselves when they go travelling, so it was very natural for them to be equipped with weapons.
Such was a ship arranged by Might, he couldn't just get a ship that he wasn't confident with. So Zhao Hai also trusted the ship. After obtaining Stack's consent, Zhao Hai explored around the vessel.
Apart from Zhao Hai, the ship probably had more than a hundred passengers. Some were merchants, while some were civilians that wanted to visit Sky Water City. And the living quarters were clearly divided where the lower decks were the cheaper ones.
After asking around, Zhao Hai found out that the travel from River Law City to Sky Water City will take about 5 days by ship, but if they were to travel in land, it may take about half a month or so.
Law river's surface was wide so there wasn't much swaying of the ship, but nevertheless, Meg developed seasickness. Zhao Hai had no other choice but to have her return to their room and had her sent to the Space.
Laura was well traveled so it was natural that she didn't get seasick. Instead, she was extremely spirited and followed Zhao Hai in exploring the entire ship along with Nier. Ruyen was as usual, being behaved and stayed inside her room and didn't come out.
If it wasn't for Ruyen's previous actions, Zhao Hai might have thought that she had gone crazy. When Zhao Hai was just starting out with their travels, he could see Ruyen almost every day, But now, Ruyen eats all three meals of the day inside her room. When they were inside the carriage, he wouldn't be able to see her. Even when they stay inside their tents back when they were travelling, Ruyen would still stay inside. She seems to be hiding from Zhao Hai.
These days Zhao Hai had already gotten used to her. But he was still somewhat worried, he’s afraid that Ruyen had developed some sort of sickness. It this was so, he wouldn't know how to explain himself to Evan.
Evan's initial purpose was to let Ruyen get in contact with Zhao Hai as much as possible. Although Zhao Hai already had Laura and Meg, having more than one wife was quite normal in the continent. After seeing Zhao Hai's transformation, Evan made his plans. But it seems like his thoughts were wasted, Ruyen didn't get in contact with Zhao Hai often, so how could they discuss getting betrothed with each other?
Chapter 349 – Arrow Turtle
After three days onboard the ship, Zhao Hai didn't experience any discomfort. Instead, he managed to make quite a few friends among the passengers as well as getting more acquainted to Stack.
Zhao Hai wasn't innately a mean spirited person, and adding on to the fact that people who ride ships were generally wine lovers, Zhao Hai naturally supplied his Milk Wine. It was the first time Stack drank such wine, so naturally the captain of the ship was very happy.
The milk wine that Zhao Hai produced wasn't the same as the other low alcohol level wines. He had been able to make a 40% alcohol content wine, one little sip is all you need to taste its potency.
This high alcohol content liquor had never appeared in the continent before and Stack had become one of the first persons who were able to drink this wine, but he managed to get drunk after taking only a few sips. Fortunately, Zhao Hai's wine doesn't give people hangovers, so the captain just slept it off.
Although he already got drunk from such small amount, Stack absolutely loved Zhao Hai's liquor. Its flavor was very satisfying, especially to the drunkard Stack.
But Zhao Hai didn't give him the same type of liquor, but instead he took out another one but had less than the amount of alcohol content in it. Nevertheless, Stack still liked it so he hounded Zhao Hai to purchase more of this kind of wine. Zhao Hai was generous and directly gave Stack 50 jin of wine, allowing Stack's impression of Zhao Hai to skyrocket.
Zhao Hai stood at the top deck of the ship, watching the other vessels come and go. He knew that since the Law river was quite busy, ships would always be visible at all times. It really did seem that this Law river is the busiest river in the entire Rosen Empire.
Laura was standing right by Zhao Hai's side and looked at the scenery, "Brother Hai, how about we get a ship for our use later on?"
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "Right, we'll have to get a ship later so that we can get to the prairie much more easily. We could also use it to go out and experience the vast seas."
Laura smiled, "Good I'm already grown up but I still hadn't been out to the sea yet. I really want to see what it looks like."
Zhao Hai showed a faint smile, "Don't worry, in the future, you'll be able to see it whenever you like. Haha." At this moment, Zhao Hai felt the ship shudder. Zhao Hai immediately thought that something must have gone wrong as the ship's hull shook again.
Seeing that the state of the ship wasn't normal, Stack also ran towards the sides of the boat and looked closely into the water. Although he didn't know what they were looking for, Zhao Hai also looked into the river.
There was a dark shadow underneath the water, just beside the ship. The shadow's head wasn't very small. Zhao Hai looked confused at the dark shadow and asked Stack, "Stack, what is that? Did that collide with the ship?"
Stack nodded, "Right, it did collide with the ship, that is Law river's unique magic beast, an Arrow Turtle. These beasts are notorious here, they're very big, their strength isn't something to scoff at, and their shells are very special. It has a horn about a meter long in front of it that looks like a sword. Besides its shell, it also had tough scales all throughout its body that is very difficult to deal with. Most importantly, this turtle likes to smash itself towards ships, our ship is still safe since it has a thick hull so we don't need to worry in the meantime. But if it keeps ramming itself to the ship, it's possible to make a hole in it. This would be dangerous so we cannot just allow it."
Zhao Hai asked curiously, "What are you planning to do? Shoot it with harpoons? Is it effective?"
Stack nodded, "We'll just send in a warning shot, this thing's quite cowardly. Sometimes it only takes a few shots to make it retreat. But if possible, we'll catch it, this thing is a delicacy."
As he was saying that, Stack signalled to his crew to prepare the harpoons as Zhao Hai watched them. These harpoons were very different from the ballista arrows used in the continent. The difference between the ones used here from the one used on land was that the harpoons actually had ropes tied onto them.
Under Stack's command, the crew quickly loaded the harpoon onto the ballistas as they continuously shot at the shadow, producing massive ripples on the river's surface. Before long, red blood could be seen appearing on the water as the crow pulled the harpoons back to the ship.
At this time, a sailor shouted, "Captain, the harpoon has hooked on to something, it's possibly the Arrow Turtle."
As soon as Stack heard it, he immediately became happy, he replied, "Really? Fantastic! Quickly, everyone, come help pull it onboard." Then the crew put all of their effort to pull the rope while Zhao Hai and Laura observed at the side.
After a short while, the crew managed to pull the harpoon to the surface. On the tip was an Arrow Turtle hanging from the rope. The Arrow Turtle was just like what Stack said, it was 5 meters long, had a spike on its head that was connected to its shell. Its skin closely resembled those of alligators and looked very thick. But in the end, Stack's harpoon managed to penetrate the turtle's foot. Even with the struggles of the Arrow Turtle, it didn't manage to dislodge itself from the harpoon.
The Arrow Turtle appeared very aggressive, it often opened its mouth to roar, showing Zhao Hai the canines inside its mouth. This was definitely a magic beast capable of strong attacks.
At this time, a sailor was getting another shot ready to kill the turtle. Pulling in onboard while still alive was a very dangerous thing to do since the creature's attacks weren't weak.
Seeing that the sailor was about to shoot the arrow, Zhao Hai quickly intervened, "Wait! Don't shoot! Stack, how about selling this turtle to me?"
Stack stared, "What do you want this for?"
Zhao Hai faintly smiled, "You leave that to me, so are you selling it?" Stack smiled and said, "What sell, I'll give it to you. We just captured it anyway."
Zhao Hai was happy, he didn't become polite as the arrived at the side of the ship and waved his hand immediately sending the Arrow Turtle into the Space. This was a new type of magic beast that may help Zhao Hai upgrade his Ranch. It's wounds didn't matter since the Space could just heal it.
When Stack saw the way Zhao Hai took the turtle away, his complexion changed. Although he was just a ship captain, he also had a lot of experiences. For Zhao Hai to do what he just did showed that he had a spatial item with him. For a person to hold a spatial item, one's status shouldn't be that low. Stack didn't think that Zhao Hai would own such item.
One should know that spatial items were status symbols in the continent. It was normal for Great Noble families to not have one, yet Zhao Hai actually had one, clearly showing his capabilities.
Although Stack wasn't a noble, he had met a lot of nobles before. These past few days that he interacted with Zhao Hai, he saw that Zhao Hai was quite different in a lot of ways. Zhao Hai didn't have the innate arrogance nobles generally had. With all of his interactions with Stack, he didn't show even a least bit of disdain, this made Stack feel touched.
Now seeing Zhao Hai reveal his spatial item, Stack cannot help but reevaluate his perception of Zhao Hai's status. Stack knew the Shelley Family very well, he frequently helps the family transport their cargo. When he saw Zhao Hai being accompanied with Might, as well as the absence of the Shelley Family emblem on him, Stack thought that Zhao Hai was not a member of Shelley Family. But he didn't expect Zhao Hai to possess a spatial item. This made Stack think that Zhao Hai might have been a direct lineage member of Shelley Family.
Law river's small incident was just a small distraction. Zhao Hai chatted with Stack for a while then returned to his room. He wants to quickly take a look whether the Space levelled up after taking in the Arrow Turtle. He wanted to see what changes the Ranch would undergo when it reaches level 10.
However, it was a pity that the Arrow Turtle wasn't enough to upgrade the Ranch to level 10. It became just like any animal inside the Ranch.
Zhao Hai didn't mind that the Ranch didn't level up. But this incident gave Zhao Hai a new idea. Although there were a lot of animals on land; the rivers, lakes, and seas also had a lot of plants and animals within, possibly even more than those in land. If Zhao Hai can take in some plants and animals from the river, levelling the Space wouldn't be difficult.
Laura who sat near Zhao Hai said, "Brother Hai, how about we directly absorb the river's water? Will that work?"
Zhao Hai froze, he didn't think about that. Directly absorbing the river's water? This method was worth trying.
Zhao Hai nodded, "We'll try, but we must wait for an appropriate opportunity. In two days we'll arrive at Sky Water City. Not only can we absorb Law river's water there, we could also get some seawater as well, this should be enough to upgrade the Space. The Ranch had slowly gotten upgraded recently, but the Farm hadn't levellup up sice. When we reach Sky Water City it would be best to find more unique plants to upgrade the Farm quickly. When we manage to cure the Water of Nothingness, then we can relax."
Laura agreed, "Right, we really need to upgrade the farm as soon as possible. But it is currently winter, plants aren't exactly very abundant at this time. Most of them would have wilted by now or in the last months. If we want to get rid of the effects of the Water of Nothingness, I'm afraid we'll have to wait until spring."
Zhao Hai nodded, "We can wait, no need to worry about it for now. We have already waited for quite a long time, so there should be no problem waiting longer. Also, when we arrive at Sky Water City, we still need to settle down."
Laura also nodded and said, "We currently have Might to protect us, but it means that we're currently identified as members of the family. This might give us problems later on, which I think the Shelley Family depends on to tie us to them. With this, others might think twice when cooperating with us. Brother Hai, do you think that this will affect our cooperation with Calci Family?"
Zhao Hai shook his head, "It shouldn't, we are people from the League of Dark Mages. Technically, our connection with Calci Family is much closer than with the Shelley Family, so they shouldn't doubt our intentions."