Chapter 447 – Arriving at Carson City
When their meal with Trezebo came to an end, it was time for Zhao Hai's group to leave. After leaving some seafood to Trezebo, Zhao Hai went to Mu'en's place and took a rest before taking their ship out to sea.
The reason why Zhao Hai chose to travel by sea was so that nobody would know his whereabouts. It would make people see him as though they are looking at a deep well. Only then could he have his security.
Of course, with Zhao Hai's current strength, he didn't need to fear the Radiant Church anymore. But he also knew that if he shows off too much he won't be able to live a good life. On the contrary, it may even lead the entire continent allying up against him because of this strength. For those rulers, Zhao Hai would become a threat much worse than the Radiant Church. Therefore, Zhao Hai chose to wait until the final moment, when he is sure that his strength was already too formidable for the other empires to deal with.
People always harbor a conflicting feeling for something that is too powerful, because at that point they wouldn't be able to even hold a rebellious idea at all. This was the reason why strong forces always find ways to eliminate any threats that they come across, in order to ensure the safety of their benefits.
And Zhao Hai didn't want to be one of those existences. He would rather have people guessing his strength and maintaining a mysterious feeling. People always regarded mysterious things with curiosity, they may become vigilant, but they wouldn't think to eliminate them.
Zhao Hai believed that there weren't a lot of people on the continent that would still dare make a move on him. He even managed to clean up a group of 9th ranks. So even if those people did have any ideas against Zhao Hai, they would still need to think about it. This was the advantage of strength, with enough strength, one could make his enemies think twice before acting against them.
While sitting on the ship, Zhao Hai let out a long breath. Then he drank some of the Space's water. Now, he didn't smell of alcohol.
Laura and the others were on Zhao Hai's side. When they accompany Zhao Hai, the atmosphere becomes peaceful, as well as very warm.
Zhao Hai turned to Laura and the others' eyes and said, "The Space has already reached Level 47. I didn't think that the Pure Iron Armor would actually give this much. Although it doesn't belong to us, it still brought us some benefits."
Laura smiled and said, "It is a good outcome every time the Space gets upgraded. Now we only need two levels before reaching level 50. I really want to know what changes happen to the Space when it reaches that level."
Zhao Hai bitterly smiled, "That's easy to say. Pure Iron is definitely a treasure in the continent. But these things can only be found, not sought. However, even with how precious this thing is, it only brought three levels to the space. This time, it will become hard to raise the Space's levels."
Then Laura chuckled, "I don't think so. Our luck is very good. Did you see how fast we managed to raise the Space's levels? I think it won't take too long before we fulfill those three levels."
Zhao Hai just smiled and didn't speak anymore. When it became dark, the Haven finally left Jade Water City's region. Zhao Hai looked around to see whether there were other ships present. After that, they went to the Space and took their rest. At this time, even if they arrived at Carson City, they still wouldn't be able to enter since the gates would be closed.
Zhao Hai has never seen Carson City, so he could only release a Blood Hawk and had it fly towards Carson City's direction while carrying the Ghost Staff. When it arrives then they will go out.
Megan told the Blood Hawk Carson City's direction then told Cai'er about how it looks like making her pay attention to it before she proceeded to sleep.
The next morning after they had their breakfast and went to the living room, the Blood Hawk finally reached Carson City. Zhao Hai was glad when he knew about this.
Outside Carson City, then looked for a desolate place before coming out. Zhao Hai released his Giant Horned Bull-pulled carriage and slowly headed to Carson City.
Zhao Hai planned to see Charlie first before heading to the Calci Family. Megan didn't object, she also knew the direction to Charlie's Mansion. Although she didn't come to Carson City quite often, she still went there every year and lived there for a month or two. Because of this, she knew about the notable mansions in Carson City as well as their owners.
When they arrived outside Carson City, Zhao Hai learned how majestic the capital was. The walls of the City had reached an unimaginable height of 60 zhang(~200 meters) as well as a thickness of 100 meters. No wonder the books that Zhao Hai read stated that the city walls of Carson City took five years to build. Know that this construction used countless manpower as well as the cooperation of Mages.
There was a moat outside surrounding the whole city as well as bridges as wide as 100 meters. The bridge that they ran along lead to Carson City's east gate, called the Sea Gate. The gate had 12 openings, with the middle three openings being the widest and highest, height of 30 meters and a width of 20. According to Megan, these three openings cannot be used by average people, only nobles can pass through. The remaining 9 openings were for commoners and merchants.
Since God's Grace Day was approaching, the gate was jam packed with people waiting to enter the city. Only on those three openings did the lines became quite lax. Commoners and Merchants needed to pay entry tax as well as undergo a strict inspection in order to pass through while nobles didn't, which explains the short lines on the middle openings. The nobles only needed to register, making their passage much quicker.
Zhao Hai and the others went to the three middle openings since they already have status. Hung on the carriage was the proper emblem of the Buda Clan. Although it only showed the status of a Count, nobody in the Continent would dare to underestimate this Count.
When Zhao Hai's carriage stopped in line, it brought attention to those around it. There was no other person in the continent that used a bull-pulled carriage aside from Zhao Hai. Because of this, it would be impossible for people to not notice him when he stopped in their vicinity.
The group slowly advanced and arrived at the gate before long. There was a dedicated recorder on the gate of the city. He held the task of recording every vehicle entering and leaving the city. He also listed who the vehicles belonged to.
When Zhao Hai arrived at the gate, the recorder listed their carriage under the Buda Clan's name. Then he asked Shue and Shun, who were driving the carriage, a few questions before allowing them passage to the city.
Zhao Hai drove through the gate and entered the streets of the city. Once they were on the street, Zhao Hai saw how lively the place was. People came and went along the shops in the street, they were even more lively than Zhao Hai's shop back at Jade Water City. Other places simply aren't as lively as this, even Sky Water City. This was truly the capital of the continent's most powerful empire, truly extraordinary.
While Zhao Hai and the others were driving along, they saw a group of knight heading towards them. The knights were wearing heavy armor and had badges on their bodies. They were all from the Calci Family and wanted to meet with Zhao Hai.
Sure enough, when the carriage met with them, a person went forward and said, "I just want to ask whether mister Zhao Hai is sitting inside the carriage."
Zhao Hai opened the carriage door and showed a faint smile, "Yes it is. Why did these gentlemen come meet us?"
The knight immediately bowed and said, "I have seen mister, the Patriarch has given us orders to meet mister and invite him over."
Zhao Hai smiled faintly and said, "No need to hurry, I've been asked by a friend to deliver something, this time I need to head to Third Prince Charlie's mansion first. You could help me by leading the way." The knight couldn't ignore such request and immediately gave a command to his team before they headed towards Charlie's mansion.
At this time, another group of knights appeared in front of them. These knights were also wearing heavy armor, but they were golden. The badges worn by this group showed the emblem of the Rosen Imperial Clan.
When the team arrived in front of Zhao Hai's carriage, a man bowed and said, "Mister Zhao Hai, His Highness has asked us to meet and escort mister over to his Mansion."
Zhao Hai went out of the carriage and looked at the Knight and said, "You people are from His Highness' Mansion?"
The knight answered, "Exactly sir."
Zhao Hai nodded and said, "It just so happens that I'm heading towards His Highness' Mansion. Well then, please go lead the way." The man stared for a moment before issuing a cry and went to the front of the procession while the men from the Calci Family retreated towards the back of the carriage.
Zhao Hai's convoy arrived outside Charlie's mansion quickly. The outside of Charlie's mansion was very stylish, it looked very impressive. It wasn't any worse than one held by a Grand Duke. In fact, Charlie's status was that of a Grand Duke.
All Empires on the continent have the same custom. Only Princes who held the status of Grand Duke can compete for the throne, otherwise they wouldn't be given the opportunity to do so.
When Zhao Hai's carriage stopped outside the mansion, Charlie was seen walking out of the door. Just as Zhao Hai got off from his carriage, Charlie laughed and gave his greetings. "Little Hai, surprisingly, you came to me first instead of the Calci Family. Aren't you afraid that Miss Megan would get angry?"
When Megan who was inside the vehicle heard Charlie, she couldn't help but smile and said, "Your Highness, I'll only get mad if Brother Hai greets you with more energy than he does with me."
At this moment, there were a lot of people outside Charlie's Mansion. When they saw Charlie's enthusiasm towards Zhao Hai, even coming out to meet him personally, they immediately understood Zhao Hai's standing in the Third Prince's heart. Those people cannot help but be envious, but they knew that they cannot be jealous of Zhao Hai, they just didn't have his strength.
When Charlie heard Megan, he laughed and said, "Miss Megan doesn't need to get angry, I'm just cracking a joke. Right, let's head inside quickly." Then he pulled Zhao Hai to enter the mansion.
Chapter 448 – Dark Soldier Fort
In the living room, after everyone was seated, Charlie smiled to Zhao Hai and said, "Why did you come this time? RIght, I've heard about what you did in Purcell Duchy, hahaha. Very good. With your reputation, there'll nobody in the continent who would dare underestimate you even if you're still a Count. Right, I was actually thinking of giving you a higher title in Rosen Empire."
Zhao Hai knows that Great Nobles have a lot of titles in various empires, they may even have territories on those empires. This matter wasn't rare, so Charlie's offer was understandable. After all, even if the Buda Clan was a Count in Aksu Empire, their territory was in the Black Wasteland, something people can consider as having no territory at all.
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "Then I'll have to give my thanks to Your Highness. Right, there's a gift that Trezebo sent for me to give you. Please accept it." Then he placed the Pure Iron Robe on the table.
Charlie looked at the Pure Iron Armor and nodded, he already received word about it from Trezebo, so he already knew the background of this matter, making him quite calm when seeing it.
Charlie also knew that Trezebo meant to give the Armor to Zhao Hai but Zhao Hai didn't accept it. Thinking about that, Charlie looked at Zhao Hai and said, "Little Hai, you can take this robe."
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "Your Highness, I have no use for this robe. You should keep it for yourself. Right, I've also prepared a gift this time. There's some seafood here, I picked them out myself, they're much better than those we sell."
Charlie also knew about this matter, he smiled and said, "Alright, I'll be impolite then, but those seafood are really welcome. The marine products that you've brought out last time really gave us huge profits, Little Hai, I really need to express my gratitude to you."
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "Your Highness is too polite, it wasn't only you who profited so much, I also did get lots of money. I came this time to greet His Highness for God's Grace Day in advance since all of us would be very busy later. After the new year, our liquor will be available for market. At the same time, my business with the Beastmen would begin. I hope Your Highness has prepared yourself as well. We don't want too much confusion, or else Your Highness will be losing money."
Charlie laughed and said, "Rest assure, I can guarantee that there will be no problems. How could I possibly let the possibility of losing money happen to me?"
Zhao Hai nodded, then he looked at the skies and said, "Your Highness, I should be leaving for the Calci Family. After all, I've only just arrived, it won't be too good If I take too long in giving my greetings. When I find some free time, i'll be visiting you again and have a meal together."
Charlie smiled and said, "Alright, I know about how busy you are. You're welcome here at all times." Then Zhao Hai nodded and walked outside along with Megan and the others.
Charlie escorted Zhao Hai towards his carriage as well as having a team of Knights guide him towards Dark Soldier Fort. The Calci Family was a Great Clan of the Rosen Empire, but their main residence was actually not inside the city, but on a small mountain outside. Their residence was on a place called Dark Mountain, and the castle that they built there was called Dark Soldier Fort. The Calci Family actually had a small mansion inside Carson City, but that was mostly occupied by servants and extended families. The core of the Calci Family all congregate and live inside Dark Soldier Fort.
Zhao Hai and the others had to ride their carriage from Carson City towards Dark Soldier Fort. But fortunately, the fort wasn't that far from the city, it only takes a bit more than an hour to arrive there.
While on the way, Zhao Hai noticed the many castles constructed on the mountains surrounding Carson City. All of those who resided on those castles were Old established Nobles of the Rosen Empire. These castles was also the first line defense of the capital. If one wanted to attack Carson City, they still need to break this line of defense.
Moreover, there was also a symbolic meaning to this arrangement. Because of their close vicinity to the capital, any of those nobles can also quickly amass an army and occupy the city and overthrow the current monarch. Because of this, those who resided on the mountains outside the Capital were seen as the most loyal vassals of the crown.
Dark Soldier Fort was built on the summit of Dark Mountain. Connecting the foot of the mountain and the summit was a cyan stone road. Its width was about ten meters. The mountain also had a lot of trees, and with how old some of the trees here were, one could see the mystery and elegance in the way they obscure the view towards Dark Soldier Fort.
In front of the road to the mountain was a bar blocking entry with a small house beside it. The house was meant to receive and list the guests.
Two servants went out of the small house and removed the bar to the entrance just as Zhao Hai's carriage arrived. Apparently, they already received word about Zhao Hai's arrival, they stood respectfully at the side and let Zhao Hai's carriage pass through.
The team of Knights that Charlie sent left after delivering Zhao Hai to the foot of the mountain. They also knew that there were another team of Knights that would escort Zhao Hai towards the summit of the mountain. Since the members of the Calci Family still needed to get to the capital and back needed escorts, a team of Knights were always present on the family's mansion inside Carson City.
Under the escort of the Knights, Zhao Hai's carriage quickly arrived outside Dark Soldier Fort. Upon arriving there, Zhao Hai was quite shocked. This was because the fort looks like Iron Mountain Fort. The only main difference between the two of them was that Iron Mountain Fort was constructed on Iron Mountain while Dark Soldier Fort was constructed on Dark Mountain.
What can be seen outside the fort was a moat as well as walls, clearly showing that the place was very ready for war and was not meant to look good.
At this moment, the big gate to the fort was opened. Two heavy armored soldiers were seen in front of the gate as well as an old man. The old man wore a housekeeper's robe. Although he was already quite old, he still held a straight body as well as a strong temperament.
When Zhao Hai and the others went out of the carriage, Megan immediately rushed to the old man and said, "Grandpa Gan, why did you come out personally? Is it alright for you to specially come and see us?"
A smile arose from the serious face of the old man, he looked at Megan and said, "Little Megan has come back, of course I'll go meet you. Otherwise, you might think that I don't love you anymore."
Although the man wore housekeeper's clothes, he was very casual when talking to Megan, he didn't follow customs at all. On the contrary, he acts like he was Megan's senior.
Megan had also become accustomed to the old man's way of talking and didn’t' mind it at all. Instead she took at the old man's arm in a spoiled manner and said, "But do you really love me? If you don't, I'll go on and tell Grandma."
Gansu smiled and didn't say anything more. He turned his head to look at Zhao Hai as Zhao Hai was inspecting the old man's appearance. He saw that Megan had a good relationship with this man and knew that he couldn't be ignored, so Zhao immediately gave a bow to Gansu and said, "Zhao Hai has met Grandpa Gan."
Gansu sized up Zhao Hai and nodded, "Alright, young man, I've heard about all things that you've done, you're very good. You've done them well and beautifully. I actually dislike that boy Juwan. And I also agree that those Radiant Church really think of themselves as god while dipping their hands into a lot of people's businesses. Good thing you've made a big hit on them, so satisfying, hahaha."
The old man's words made Zhao Hai unable to speak anything. For this housekeeper to criticize Juwan, this gave Zhao Hai a vague idea about this old man's identity and status. It seems like this old man wasn't an ordinary housekeeper.
Zhao Hai smiled bitterly and replied, "I was forced that time, I wanted to live peacefully but they didn't want that. They just wouldn't let me go, so I could only rise up and resist."
The old man laughed and said, "Boy, you speak the truth. Let's go, the family members are waiting for you." Then he lead the group into the fort.
This castle was divided into three sections, the soldier's area, the servant's area, and then the main area. The group entered the main area of the castle.
When Zhao Hai and the others were entering the courtyard, a person came along with a carriage. This carriage was specially meant to receive guests who arrived at Dark Soldier Fort. One must leave their personal carriage outside the fort and ride a specially prepared carriage to enter it. This was an old custom of the family, and it has stayed to this very day.
The carriage that the family had was very big, its interior decorations were also luxurious. Zhao Hai's carriage simply cannot be compared to this. Moreover, the carriage has space for many people, one simply couldn't feel that they were being packed inside.
Gansu looked at Zhao Hai and said, "Little Hai, you must prepare yourself. Elders from the family are waiting for you in the living room, Juwan is present as well. The losses that guy suffered was all because of you, he will certainly give you some troubles. Make sure to be mentally prepared."
Zhao Hai faintly smiled and asid, "Grandpa Gan, rest assured, there won't be any problems. After all, he is Megan's fifth uncle, so he's also my elder. I'll never go too far, you don't need to worry."
Gansu looked at Zhao Hai and nodded, he was very satisfied with the young man. He wasn't soft but he wasn't dry either. He was very polite, and was respectful to his elders.
Gansu didn't know that deep within Zhao Hai's bones were very traditional Chinese teachings. The Chinese heavily respects their elders. Respecting the elderly while loving the young were traditional virtues of the Chinese people. This was the type of teachings that Zhao Hai grew up on, thus the reason why he gave his utmost respect to Gansu. Naturally, if you're old, but you're very disrespectful, Zhao Hai wouldn’t' tolerate it.
They aren't arrogant, but they are proud. Zhao Hai was exactly like this, he will not look down on anyone but if someone looks down on him, he will not be respectful and polite anymore.
The carriage slowly moved on. The carriage had little vibrations, but Zhao Hai was still quite nervous. After all, he was still facing the core of a Great Family. Zhao Hai hasn't experienced this kind of thing ever.