Chapter 567 - Dwarf Iron Mountain
While the ship was sailing along Iron Warhorse River, they could spot three-masted and five-masted ships sailing with them. These ships had displaced a lot of water, showing people how much cargo they were carrying.
They were already not far from the pier for Dwarf Mountain. From the direction these ships were heading, it seems like they were all packing a lot of iron and iron goods inside.
When people mention Dwarven ironware, they might think of weapons. But in reality, there were a lot of ironware that were from the Dwarves. Everything that can be made out of iron was also made by the Dwarves.
Moreover, Dwarves don't only create things from iron, they also use a variety of metals as well. Their gold and silver items also held some fame in the continent, but not as much as their ironware.
Weapons that Dwarves produce might be crude and simple, but the products they make from precious metals were absurdly magnificent, looking like they were art. Even Elves cannot be compared to how innately skilled the Dwarves were in this aspect.
Like what was heard, the Dwarves had been hollowing out huge portions of Dwarf Mountain. At the same time, they also knew that the mountain would run out of iron eventually, so they also started to recycle some iron. Iron was easy to reuse, the Dwarves can just remelt some dscared iron products to make new ones.
Because of this, whether ships were heading or leaving Dwarf Mountain, all of them had iron in their cargo.
Zhao Hai also knew about this practice of the Dwarves, but they don't need a lot of people to bring them iron. Right now, they already have Merchants, specifically tasked to get them some scrap iron. One could say that the development of the Dwarves were much better than the Beastmen.
Before long, the Haven slowly came to a stop at the pier. The pier was very big, the ships that were moored along it were a lot. Zhao Hai also noticed that of the ships present, almost all of them were owned by Buddha Empire Nobles, he couldn't spot any ships belonging from the other nations.
But what intrigued Zhao Hai the most about this pier was the pier managers. These people were very short, the tallest of them was only about 1.5 meters. However, their figures were very sturdy, they wore iron armor while everyone of them carried a hammer at their back.
This hammer wasn't the same as the weapons of Ancient China. This hammer looks like it was used to hammer iron, but it's very big, they seem to weigh a couple of dozen jins each.
In addition to the hammer, the Dwarves also wore iron armor. The amount of load that each of them carried was at minimum about 100 jin. But from their appearances, it seems like it didn't bother them, showing how formidable their strengths were.
This was the first time that Zhao Hai had seen a Dwarf. These people had brown hair and a full beard on their faces, they also had a slight blush on their cheeks, probably from all the drinking that they had done.
After the ship stooped, Zhao Hai walked down from it along with Juno. Before long, two Dwarves approached them, the two bowed slightly to Zhao Hai and Juno and said, "Are you two doing business?"
Zhao Hai smiled faintly and said, "Dwarf friend, this one is Buda Clan's Zhao Hai. I came this time to do business. Since this is my first time, I have been accompanied with the Hurricane Family's Patriarch.
When the Dwarf heard Zhao Hai that the person beside him was the Hurricane Family's patriarch, his face immediately changed to respect as he bowed to Juno and said, "So it turns out to be Patriarch Juno. We've been very rude, please come with us."
It seemed like they had ignored Zhao Hai's self introduction. Zhao Hai can only stare blankly for a moment before bitterly smiling.
The Buda Clan was now quite famous in the Continent, however, these Dwarves seem to not know about him. This had two possibilities, it might be because they really haven't heard about Zhao Hai, or they might have taken a dislike towards him.
Juno looked at the Dwarf and calmly said, "This is Mister Zhao Hai, Buda Clan's Patriarch, he is a friend of mine."
Quite ordinary words, but these made the Dwarf stare. Then he turned to Zhao Hai with a look of unfriendliness and said, "Buda Clan? Rosen Empire's Buda Clan?"
Zhao Hai nodded and said, "Is there a problem?"
The Dwarf looked at Zhao Hai and said, "It's been a long time since people from the Rosen Empire has come here. The last merchant from the Rosen Empire sold us moldy bamboo rice."
When Zhao Hai heard the Dwarf, he stared for a moment before he faintly smiled and said, "Really? Is he from the Buda Clan?"
The Dwarf didn't expect this to be Zhao Hai's response. He also understood what Zhao Hai meant. The Dwarf couldn't help but laugh and said, "I like you. Patriarch Zhao Hai, please."
Juno nodded at the side in commendation. If Zhao Hai defended the Rosen Empire merchants, then it would become impossible for him to do any business with the Dwarves. It's good that Zhao Hai's answer made these Dwarves quite delighted.
Zhao Hai also discovered that these Dwarves aren't the same as the Beastmen. Beastmen were direct, but they weren't as smart as the Dwarves. Even if the Dwarves were also direct, they also had more contact with Humans and knew about how to read them.
Zhao Hai's group left the pier along with the two Dwarves, then the Dwarves got the group some carriages. The carriage was fairly big, it was pulled by a Magic Beast that Zhao Hai has not seen before. This one looked like pangolin, however, their heads looked like a cross between a horse and a bull.
After the carriage arrived, the two Dwarves immediately invited Zhao Hai's group to ride it. The Dwarves then talked with the group while inside. Naturally, the two were much more respectful towards Juno.
Seeing their conduct, Zhao Hai can't do anything but just smile. From what he can see on the expressions of the Dwarves, it seems like Juno held quite a high standing in their hearts.
When Juno noticed that Zhao Hai was curious about the Magic Beast, he smiled and said, "This beast is called Iron Armor Beast, a unique Magic Beast of the Dwarven Race. It's a great complement to them as it is very good at excavating earth as well as digging through mountains. At the same time, through proper training, these can also help the Dwarves find iron ore deposits. However, this Magic Beast also has its peculiarities. Other than the Dwarves, these beasts are unable to be trained by Humans or any other races. Because of this, the Dwarves had always believed that this beast was a gift to them but the Artisan God."
Zhao Hai nodded, he didn't think that this was false. After all, there were a lot of strange things in the Ark Continent. Maybe there were really gods looking at the continent from some other place.
The Iron Armor beast walked very steadily, moreover, it's speed was not very slow. It didn't take a long time before Zhao Hai and the others saw the mountain in the distance. This mountain was very different from the Hurricane Family's territory. Back in the Hurricane Family's place, bamboo rice and oil trees can be seen everywhere, but here, Zhao Hai can only spot a single plant that he hadn't seen before.
This tree is very strange, it's trunk was very straight and very black. However, it wasn't very thick. On top of the tree were some branches, each branch had about five or six extensions on them. At the same time, there were more than ten leaves on each branch, each leaf was very big, about more than one meter long and were very thin. One could get an impression of a spear upon seeing the dark green leaves. The entire tree gives one a feeling of weight and sharpness.
For a tree to give a sharp feeling was very strange. At this time, Juno opened his mouth and said, "This is called a Spear Tree. It's branch, leaves, and trunk can all be made into spears of high quality. They are also quite heavy, much heavier than average spears. However, they are also very tough, they are one of the specialty goods in Dwarf Mountain.
Zhao Hai nodded, but deep inside he was excited. He really felt that he hadn't wasted his time in coming here. These unique things in Dwarf Mountain are very helpful. Even if they cannot upgrade the Space, he can still acquire them for future use.
Zhao Hai was now anticipating his visit towards the Elven Forest. If the Dwarves, who were famous for the ironware, already had these unique plants and beasts, then what would the Elves, who were famous for their unique plants, have? It was no wonder that Zhao Hai looked forward to his visit.
Dwarf Iron Mountain was very tall, not worse than any other tall mountain in the continent. The mountain was part of a very long mountain range, comparable only to Hawk King Mountain.
Before long, the Iron Armor Beast carriage entered the mountain. Upon entering, Zhao Hai couldn't help but gawk, the scale of this place simply placed the lake chamber back at Iron Mountain to shame.
But there was no water in this mountain chamber, on the contrary, it looked just like a huge factory. Blacksmiths and their furnaces can be seen everywhere. Shirtless Dwarves, were all hard at work, hammering their metals and producing some 'ding' 'ding' sounds along the way. The noise in this place would compel you to shout at someone beside you just to talk to them.
Inside, weapons and various products can be seen everywhere. All kinds of full body armor were also being made. Various Dwarves can be seen loading and unloading goods here and there, however, no Human merchants can be seen inside.
Zhao Hai was actually afraid of the noise inside, he felt like his head was about to explode. But fortunately, it didn't take too long before the carriage went out of the other side of the mountain, bringing them back to the quiet atmosphere once again.
Zhao Hai let out a long breath and then said, "That was too scary. If I stay for a day inside there, then I might get killed by the noise. How can the Dwarves endure it?"
Juno smiled and said, "They don't need for the Dwarves to endure, you didn't notice, but all of them were wearing ear plugs. With those, they don't need to worry about the noise. Inside the mountain, Dwarves wouldn't even open their mouths, they only use hand signals to communicate with one another."
Zhao Hai nodded and then said, "So it's like this. But I find something strange. Why haven't I seen any Human merchants in there?"
Juno smiled, "There are several places in the mountain that Humans can use to interact with the Dwarves clearly. After making clear about their transactions, the Dwarves would carry their orders out by themselves while the Humans would leave the mountain. Otherwise, Humans might become insane if they stay inside for a long time, ."
Zhao Hai nodded, then he turned his head to inspect the surroundings, they were now exiting the first mountain. What was in front of Zhao Hai were a chain of other mountains stretching as far as his eyes can see. On these mountains, Spear Trees can be seen growing with no end in sight.
Zhao Hai knew that this was the real Dwarf Mountain. The area of this group of mountains was very large, it was no less than the entire Beastman Prairie.
Juno looked at the stretch of mountains and said, "Everyone knew about the Dwarf Mountain, but there were only a few of them who knew about the real Dwarf territory. Only friends of the Dwarves can see this scene. If one wasn't someone that the Dwarves trust, then they can only go up to that first mountain."
Zhao Hai nodded and said, "I'm very lucky to have Grandpa Juno with me this time. Otherwise, I wouldn't have seen such a scene."
Juno smiled faintly and said, "You don't need to be too polite with me. If I don't see you as a good Merchant, then I wouldn't be taking you here. Why did you think I accompanied you personally? If you're not a good merchant, let along saving Kristen, even if you saved the entire Hurricane Family, I still wouldn't take you here. I treat the Dwarves as my friends, and I can not do any disservice towards them."
Zhao Hai nodded. Laura and the others were quite all this time. They were enthralled by the scenery outside. This time, Juno only brought a few people from his family, they were on the carriages behind. Shue and Shun were also present on one of those carriages.
It didn't take a long time before the Iron Armor Beast entered a second mountain. This mountain was also very big, with a lot of Dwarves being busy inside as well. But there weren't a lot of weapons that can be seen here, most of the things here were iron ores.
The carriage continued to go along the mountain range. Zhao Hai also felt that each mountain that they passed, their altitude seemed to get lower. It seemed like the road that they were on was on a gentle slope.
Before long, the Iron Armor Beast stopped. Then Juno turned his head to Zhao Hai and said, "Let's head out, we still need to ride a boat."
When he arrived outside, Zhao Hai looked around for a moment. This place was beside a mountain. There were a lot of Dwarves present here, loading and unloading their goods towards other Iron Armor Beast carriages.
On the side of this mountain was a pier with boats moored at its side. These boats weren't big, however, they can still fit quite a number of people inside.
The Dwarf that drove their carriage arrived at Juno's side and said, "Mister Juno, please come with me." Juno nodded, and then he led Zhao Hai and the others to walk towards the pier.
After looking at the boats on the pier, Zhao Hai noticed that some of them were loaded with iron ore while some had nothing in them. Naturally, these empty boats were meant for them to ride on.
Chapter 568 - Hammer
Under the guidance of the Dwarf, Zhao Hai and the others got up to ride the boat. While the Dwarf guided them, the other one was responsible for driving.
They traversed the underground quite steadily. While they were travelling, ZHao Hai can notice some magic lights coming from the walls of the river from time to time.
Inside the channel, boats can also be seen travelling in both directions. Their speeds were quite fast for boats, all of them were driven by Dwarves.
By utilizing the brightness from the Magic lamps, Zhao Hai can see that there were also some piers placed on the sides of the river. These piers also had some boats in it. Some of the boats were carrying iron ores, while some had weapons and armor.
Zhao Hai was now admiring the Dwarves, they're really quite formidable. From what Zhao Hai can see, it seems like the Dwarves had scraped out entire mountains, making them into cities. How much skill did this need?
Juno sat on the ship and looked around before he sighed and said, "From the time I came here, nothing much has changed. But I can fairly remember that there weren't a lot of magic lamps before, torches were mostly used back then."
The lead Dwarf smiled at him and said, "Mister Juno, these lamps haven't been replaced in ten years. We happened to find a Magic Crystal deposit not far from the mountain. Otherwise, we wouldn't be replacing the torches with these Magic lamps."
Juno nodded and said, "Your luck is really good. But since you discovered a Magic Crystal deposit, why haven't you sold them?"
The Dwarf shook his head and said, "We can't, there aren't a lot of Magic Crystals in that deposit. The only thing we have is only enough for our use."
Juno nodded. After sailing from quite some time in the underground river, they finally stopped at a pier. The Dwarf then led them to land and had them ride an Iron Beast carriage that was already waiting for them.
After the group entered the Iron Armor Beast carriage, they continued on to their travel along the mountain range. From what Zhao Hai can see in Juno's expression, it seems like they were going to a special place.
Sure enough, when they came out of the mountain, a main road was seen. This road was very wide, it was paved with stone and it was extended from a distant the mountain. But from what Zhao Hai can see, the mountain was just like a tunnel, he can see the other side of it.
Upon entering the mountain, Zhao Hai immediately knew that he had made a mistake. The mountain was very big, moreover, a lot of Dwarf women were very busy inside.
Upon looking, Zhao Hai can see that there were tools for assembling full body armors. These armors were fish scale armors that infantry used. There were fully assembled armors as well as components waiting to be built.
After crossing the mountain, a building appeared not far away from the group. It was constructed like a temple very enormous and was constructed out of iron and iron ore. It was tall, about 20 meters in height, with 18 large stone pillars supporting it. The pillars were thick, each having about 5 meters in diameter.
There was a wide area in front of the building, about 10 thousand meters in diameter. The ground was paved with iron as well, making it very flat. Zhao Hai can see some people constantly cleaning the square.
Juno gave a sigh and said, "This is a sacred land of the Dwarf Race, the Artisan Divine Palace. It was originally a small mountain, but it was hollowed out by the Dwarves. The stones from the mountain became the foundation of the entire palace. Every year, the Dwarves would all come to this place to worship the Artisan God, it's quite a spectacle."
The Iron Armor Beast stopped on the square outside the Divine Palace. Then Juno turned to Zhao Hai and said, "Let's head out, carriages are prohibited in the vicinity of the Divine Palace. We'll give our respects to the Artisan God first before we see my old friends."
Zhao Hai nodded and then followed Juno down. The Dwarf guide was also with them as the group slowly walked towards the Divine Palace. Zhao Hai can see a lot of dwarves in the square, cleaning. They seem to be of old age, judging from their white hair and beard.
Although the Dwarves noticed Zhao Hai and the others, they seem to not care about it as they continued to get busy in their job. Before long, Zhao Hai and the others were already near the Palace Great Hall.
The closer you get to the hall, the more of its grandeur that you feel. He didn't know if it was an illusion, but Zhao Hai can feel a pressure inside the hall which made him very uncomfortable.
Zhao Hai and the others then entered the Great Hall upon which they were greeted with it's beautiful interior, carvings and art that could be seen everywhere.
However, there wasn't any statue inside the Great Hall, what made Zhao Hai surprised was that the only thing that was present here was a hammer.
Yes, Zhao Hai did not misjudge it, it was a red hammer. It's like the hammers that the Dwarves use, but it was a bit smaller, about a couple of jin less heavy.
This hammer was just too small to be used by the Dwarves. It was even short enough to be called a one-handed hammer. But what made Zhao Hai confused was that this hammer had given him an immense pressure. The pressure was even greater than what he felt when he faced 9th rank experts.
When Juno saw that Zhao Hai was motionless as he looked at the hammer, he couldn't help but stare. Hi didn't understand why Zhao Hai was staring at the hammer. Juno had visited the Dwarves a hundred times before, and he had also seen this hammer, however, he just can't see anything special about it.
The Dwarf guide had also noted Zhao Hai's expression, which made him gawk, and then his two eyes shined. However, he didn't say anything and just stepped towards the Hammer along with Juno and Zhao Hai.
Under the leadership of the Dwarf, the group paid their respects towards the hammer before they left the Great Hall. After leaving the hall, Juno then looked at Zhao Hai and said, "Little Hai, why did you stare at that hammer? Did you see anything strange?"
Zhao Hai shook his head and said, "No, I just felt a very strong pressure from the hammer. I've faced 9th rank experts before, but I still wasn't able to feel the kind of pressure that I got from the hammer. I felt that the hammer had a life, moreover, it seems to be much more formidable than a 9th rank expert."
After Zhao Hai finished talking, the Dwarf guide in front turned around and faced Zhao Hai in shock.
The Dwarf looked at Zhao Hai for quite some time before he turned back and proceeded. Zhao Hai and Juno looked at each other in confusion before they followed the Dwarf.
After they went past the Great Hall, they were once again greeted with another big mountain. When they entered, Zhao Hai was astounded by the number of people inside here. These people weren't here for work or to play with iron. From what was seen, it seems like this place was the living area of the Dwarves.
Juno looked at Zhao Hai and smiled, "Don't be surprised, this is the place where Dwarves live. It's almost the same as the village back at home."
Zhao Hai nodded, but he was still somewhat surprised upon inspecting these short Dwarves. Old Dwarves, Middle aged Dwarves, Dwarf children, all of them don't feel any different. Dwarf children were like Human children in the way they play all around the place, the Dwarf women were there doing sewing and knitting while they chat with each other, old Dwarves were sitting in threes or fours chatting away while drinking wine.
Like Juno said, it wasn't very different from any Human village. It was just that the people here were not Humans.
The Dwarf guide then led Zhao Hai and the others to enter the village. But before they went in, they stopped by the guards at the entrance as the guide said, "Please inform the Patriarch, Hurricane Family's Patriarch Juno has come to visit."
Just as the guide's request was said, a voice was suddenly heard, "What? That old man Juno has come? Quick, quick, have him come over."
Along with the voice, a Dwarf also appeared in front of the group. This Dwarf wasn't young, he already had a white beard. The Dwarf was about 1.5 meters in height, and since he was a Dwarf, his build was very sturdy. He had a big pair of hands, each finger was very thick and full of calluses, all of them looked just like withered branches.
When this old Dwarf saw Juno, he couldn't help but laugh as he hugged his old friend and patted him at the back, "You old fogy, I thought you had died. I didn't expect you to suddenly visit. Hahahaha."
Juno was obviously used to being greeted by the Dwarves this way, so he didn't care, instead he returned the old Dwarf's hug and said, "You as well, who thought that you're still alive."
Zhao Hai was on the side, looking at the two old men. They looked just like two bickering children as they chatted with each other. But even so, Zhao Hai can feel the deep friendship that was shared between the two.
After a moment of talking, Juno gestured towards Zhao Hai and said, "This is the Patriarch of the Buda Clan, Zhao Hai Buda. I accompanied him this time since he wanted to do business with you."
Then Juno turned to Zhao Hai and said, "This is the Patriarch of the Dwarf Race, Billy."
Zhao Hai bowed and said, "Zhao Hai has seen Patriarch Billy."
Billy sized Zhao Hai up, then he looked at Laura and the others at the back before he nodded and said, "Since you came with Juno, then you don't need to be polite with me. Kid, come with me, take your group and get some rest at a room nearby."
Zhao Hai didn't decline, then he turned to give a nod to Laura and the others. The group then gave Billy another salute before retreating with the Dwarf guide.This naming offends me, I don't know why.