Chapter 433 - Clearwater City
Yuchi Ba looked at the distant, flourishing city with fear and bewilderment in his eyes.
Up until now, the situation had been very optimistic.
From now on, all of their hope and fate was placed in this newly-built city. There was no other way out for them.
The other Elders beside him looked absent-minded as well. Their faces contained an unconcealable worry.
When the news of Great Elder being seriously ill was disseminated,Yuchi Ba knew that the fragile balance of power in Elders Guild would be immediately toppled. The conflicts and divergences between new citizens and aristocratic families could no longer be concealed.
Both parties would try to limit each other’s strength and authority. No one would be able to stop the collapse of Elders Guild.
Yuchi Ba knew that Madam Ye was shrewd and formidable, but he still did not think that she could pull Elders Guild out of this critical crisis.
How could the prestige that Great Elder had built up over his lifetime be replaced by a newcomer just like this?
New citizens were filled with both fear and respect for Great Elder.
Yuchi Ba had fantasized about taking over the position of Great Elder numerous times. However, when he knew that Great Elder was gravely ill, his first reaction was to panic.
Where would their path lie in the future? What would happen to Newlight City in the future? Where could he lead the new citizens to? Were they able to withstand Blood of God?
He did not know the answers to all of these questions.
Now he truly understood that there was an uncrossable gap between him and Great Elder.
Initially, everyone resented Great Elder. Whenever things went wrong, they would direct numerous complaints at him. However, now that Great Elder suddenly collapsed, they came to the realization that he was the pillar supporting everyone.
In the past, New Citizen Faction felt that Great Elder was their number one enemy. However, now that Great Elder was on the verge of collapse, instead of rejoicing, they were feeling deeply troubled.
"Great Elder truly lived up to his status. He was a ruthless individual," Yuchi Ba regained his composure, "Shi Beihai is in trouble."
The other Elders understood what Yuchi Ba was trying to say.
The New Citizen Faction and the Aristocratic Faction were clearly at odds. Both parties had relatively strong foundations. Neutral Faction would most likely be devoured by Aristocratic Faction first. Being a member of Neutral Faction, Shi Beihai was neither favored by New Citizen Faction nor Aristocratic Faction.
This could be seen from Great Elder’s order as well. Great Elder sent the three central divisions to guard Skyheart City, but he’d sent Shi Beihai to attack Blood of God. Obviously, he was trying to diminish Shi Beihai’s strength.
Another Elder could not help but ask, "Can we win over Shi Beihai? We used to have a rather good relationship with the Neutral Faction."
Aristocratic Faction always made up the majority of Elders Guild. As such, New Citizen Faction often collaborated with the Neutral Faction to contend against Aristocratic Faction.
The relationship between New Citizen Faction and Neutral Faction was rather harmonious.
"We can try, but we can’t have too high of an expectation. Even though Neutral Faction sympathizes with New Citizen Faction, they are mainly made up of aristocratic families as well." Yuchi Ba replied with a non-committal tone.
Taking a deep breath, Yuchi Ba continued, "From today onwards, Elders Guild ceases to exist except in name. We have to depend on ourselves for our future. If we are powerful, we can do anything we want. If we are weak, even if the Aristocratic Faction don’t devour us, Blood of God will not let us off. Everyone, please work hard."
Everyone bowed respectfully and replied, "Yes!"
Yuchi Ba’s eyes were blazing as he spoke with an aggressive tone, "Right now, since the situation hasn’t been fixed, we will wait for Tong Gui and Yu Lin to come back and build a combat division that can safeguard Newlight City. We will have a combat division that belongs to the new citizens."
He turned and said to Chouchou with a deep voice, "Prepare to execute your plan."
"Yes!" Chouchou’s chubby face was filled with excitement.
The news of Great Elder being severely ill did not only affect the higher-ups. Its effects were spreading and developing gradually.
Clearwater City, situated in the east of Palette Cloud Village, was not affected much by the news. The locals’ lives still went on as usual.
Clearwater City was a medium-scale city. It was also the nearest medium-scale city to Central Pine Valley. Even so, Ai Hui and his counterparts needed to go on an arduous journey of twenty-six days to reach there.
In Wilderness, the distance between each city was exceptionally long. Dangers lurked everywhere and they needed to be vigilant at all times for surprise attacks by dire beasts. Other than the developed trade routes set up by the few large-scale cities nearby, the rest of the cities still lacked the capabilities to solve this issue.
There had been situations where trading caravans were being attacked by dire beasts. Some cunning and vicious dire beasts were even specialized in hunting elementalists.
Those small-scale cities that lacked sufficient defensive capabilities would become the main targets for dire beasts. Some dire beasts even formed groups to attack these small-scale cities. In areas where the situation was critical, organised attacks were being launched upon some small-scale cities. The dire beasts that carried out these organized attacks were able to form elemental elixirs.
Mankind had no choice but to invade Wilderness. Like their ancestors, they were trying to establish a new home for themselves.
This war had just begun. Who was the real prey? Who was the overlord of Wilderness? Only time would tell.
The number of small-scale cities was decreasing sharply as they were starting to gather to form medium-scale to large-scale cities. This trend was becoming an undeniable reality. Some people even predicted that only large-scale cities would survive in Wilderness in the future.
Clearwater City also gradually strengthened itself and became a middle-scale city under such circumstances. The city kept on expanding and it would become a large-scale city very soon.
Other than being a relatively short distance away from them, the healthy economy of Clearwater City was another reason why Ai Hui and the rest chose to come to this city.
Clearwater City owed its healthy economy to its mayor, Qiao Meiqi.
Before Qiao Meiqi built Clearwater City, he possessed a powerful and rich enterprise, Meiqi Enterprise, Qiao Meiqi knew how to manage his business properly and he had deep relationships with some aristocratic families. For example, he and the Gong Residence’s eldest young master, Gong Chengxiu, were bosom buddies.
When the Wilderness Expansion Order was announced, Qiao Meiqi knew that the future lay in Wilderness. Without any hesitation, he decided to build a city in Wilderness and his decision was supported by the Gong Residence.
After expending a huge amount of time and effort blazing a new trail into Wilderness, Qiao Meiqi finally built Clearwater City in the east of Palette Cloud Village.
After Clearwater City was established, he actively supported people to open up trade routes and start businesses. He even offered highly-priced bounties for the surrounding dire beasts. After annexing a few small-scale cities that were defeated by dire beasts, Clearwater City strengthened rapidly. Now, Clearwater City had become a prosperous city.
Dangers could not stop people’s desire for wealth.
Clearwater City was hugely appealing for combat elementalists. As long as one could hunt down a dire beast, he or she could obtain a huge bounty. The purchase prices for dire beast materials were very fair and generous as well. Those capable elementalists could obtain prestige and wealth in Clearwater City.
Having a huge amount of dire beast materials also attracted many trading caravans to the city.
Among the crowd of trading caravans and travellers, Ai Hui and his counterparts were not really noticeable. This time around, there was only Ai Hui, Iron Lady, Lou Lan and Zhao Boan.
Ai Hui and Iron Lady were in charge of safety for this trip. Zhao Boan was in charge of handling business deals and Lou Lan was in charge of replenishing supplies.
Central Pine Valley’s exports were pathetically little. Other than the snow lava, they only had some fire sacks from the scarletfire flying foxes. These were their spoils of war. They had very few intact fire sacks. Ai Hui and his counterparts could only gather forty of them.
The cleverest housewife could not cook without rice. How could they buy or trade for anything if they did not have exports to sell in the first place?
Ai Hui thought of the flaming bones in the scarletfire flying foxes’ cave and ordered everyone to bring them back. Even though the selling price for the flaming bones was not high, there were a huge number of them.
All the flaming bones had been tempered with the smelting furnace’s White Cluster Flames to increase their quality. The base level of Hellfire Pagoda Cannon’s Snow Cluster Flames was too high for the flaming bones. They could not take it and were reduced directly to ashes.
After the flaming bones were tempered, their quality had clearly upgraded. Blind He’s interest was piqued and he used some of these flaming bones to create a few unique weapons.
However, all of these weapons were fire elemental ones and they were only suitable for fire elementalists. They did not need to worry about market demand for fire elemental weapons. After Fire Prairie was annexed by Blood of God, there was a shortage of fire elemental materials and production of fire elemental weapons was stopped. Right now, the market prices of fire elemental weapons were exorbitant.
When everyone heard of this news, all of them became very excited.
Especially Iron Lady, this was the first time she was doing business and this was a completely new experience for her.
In the past, she had never fussed over money. Her family would give her anything that she needed. The price of her clothes and her daily necessities was exorbitant. She did not understand the concept of money in the past. Otherwise, she would not have offered up her Calming Indigo Bracelet as collateral for the money for a bowl of noodles.
However, now she would be happy over the small sum of profit that everyone was going to make.
Generally speaking, the cities in Wilderness were smaller than the cities in the Avalon of Five Elements. The cities in Wilderness placed emphasis on their defence first. The smaller a city was, the easier it was to defend it.
Most of the cities in Avalon of Five Elements were built after Avalon of Five Elements had completely stabilized. A stable social environment allowed them to not think so much about the issue of defence. This was why the cities in Avalon of Five Elements could be so big.
Clearwater City was considered a middle-scale city in Wilderness, however, its actual area was smaller than Peace City.
Even though the city was small, its population was a lot larger than Peace City’s.
Everyone was puzzled about how so many people were gathered in such a small city.
Every now and then, a group of draught beasts would pass by them with a jingle. This was the first time Ai Hui and his counterparts saw these draught beasts. They had thick limbs and they had a circle of thick and strong bone spikes growing out from the edge of their wide backs. The circle of bone spikes acted as a huge basin for people to place their goods within it.
These draught beasts had a huge amount of strength and exceptional endurance. They were very cheap to rear as well. Since they looked like they carried a huge basin on their backs, they were called load basin beasts.
The rise of load basin beasts began after the Wilderness Expansion Order was announced.
In Wilderness, it was much more difficult to obtain elemental energy than in Avalon of Five Elements. Transporting vehicles like Three Leaves Bamboo Carts and Fiery Floating Clouds required drivers to expend a huge amount of elemental energy. They were gradually replaced by load basin beasts. Furthermore, the air space above Wilderness was lurking with dangers everywhere. Travelling on ground was much safer than travelling through air.
Reportedly, load basin beasts were somewhat related to Blood of God.
It was reported that load basin beasts were initially a failed experimental blood fiend that Beast Venom Temple bred. Soon after, they were sold to a businessman who later brought them to Wilderness. Very soon, people began to discover their worth. They used forbidden spells to induce reproduction and multiply their numbers. After a few generations of the load basin beasts being bred, the blood poison within their bodies became more and more diluted. Eventually, the load basin beasts no longer contained any trace of the blood poison.
Strangely speaking, blood poison was invincible in the Avalon of Five Elements, spreading everywhere without much difficulty. In Old Territory, it spread and progressed much slower. In Wilderness, it could not even spread at all.
One could not help but be amazed at how mysterious this world worked.
Groups of load basin beasts that were carrying tons of goods walked on the road. Elementalists that were draped in animal hides were riding on top of these load basin beasts. Copper bells were hung on the bone spikes of the load basin beasts, producing jingling sounds as they walked through the market.
Ai Hui and the rest felt as if they had returned to the primitive ancient times.