Book 5 Chapter 14.5

Book 5 Chapter 14.5 - Plan

The inhabited area, no, it is more correct to call this a small town, Tartic’s rise was something that happened in these past two years. A main road passed by the southern part of the town, connecting to the great ‘Gold Fields’ in the west. The so-called Gold Fields were high grade uranium mines scattered over an extensive area, some of them in the open, but most of them were underground, directly excavated from a chain of caves. Within this region of over a thousand square kilometers, there was a bit of nuclear waste, to the extent where there were even fished goods like nuclear sticks. A nuclear fuel warehouse and secret processing factory had previously existed in this region in the olden era, but they were all completely destroyed by underground nuclear shells, scattering large amounts of nuclear fuel and waste products everywhere. The disaster state of the olden era, in the new era, became completely normal. Places that had been heavily polluted by nuclear waste, after being contaminated for a long time, became raw materials that could be recycled and processed once again. 

The name of this Great Gold Field that was opened up two years ago was still the Land of Death, the radiation intensity of this place something not even the sturdiest of refugees could endure for a long time. Only those who developed too much mutated tissues, their lives about to reach its end would freely move about in that area. However, the powerful radiation would be shortening their already short remaining lifespans. 

Two years ago, the Holy Crusaders suddenly began to purchase large amounts of various high density nuclear fuel and waste, to the extent where it even included natural uranium ore, and only then did the Land of Death become the Great Gold Field it was today. Tartic emerged precisely under this type of situation. Saladin was originally only the leader of a dozen or so armed refugees, but his nose was sharp, able to smell the enormous business opportunity in the Land of Death, and he was smart enough as well, cooperating with the Holy Crusaders with the attitude of a domestic dog. He gathered the nuclear material in the Land of Death, and then organized people to deliver everything to the east, ultimately selling it to the Holy Crusaders, exchanging for food, weapons, and supplies, thus attracting even more armed refugees and establishing an army of his own. After suppressing the small scale mobs wandering around the Land of Death, he enjoyed a monopoly over the nuclear goods business. 

The large amount of wealth accumulated under the past two years allowed Tartic to establish fortlike facilities, as well as an army made up of two hundred fully armed men. The fully content Saladin gave himself the title of ‘major’, so one could tell just how lofty his ideals were. Tartic currently had a population of less than a hundred, barely enough to be considered a town, still quite far from being a city. 

The Holy Crusaders’ purchasing station was two hundred kilometers away. It was clear that the Holy Crusaders were quite satisfied with their agent Saladin, or else a place like Tartic wouldn’t have appeared. Even though they didn’t lack large scale mining machinery, transport heavy loading trucks, or ability users that could resist radiation, when there was a large number of refugees to make use of, no one would use such heavy machinery in a mining field. Ability users weren’t many in number, so they naturally wouldn’t be used as part of the labor force either. 

Heavy machinery all needed energy, and both diesel fuel as well as electricity were expensive. Meanwhile, the refugees who produced a new generation every few years were of little value. 

After staying for a smaller half of a day in Tartic, Su already understood this background information. Tartic didn’t prohibit or reject outsiders, but was instead rather welcoming towards them, moreover providing services that didn’t exist in the wilderness. Food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, women, and men, there was everything one wanted. Its style was open-minded, lines rough, fully worshipping great power and money, not much different from the small towns cowboys resided in during the wild west of the olden era. 

Large amounts of refugees would pour into Tartic each day, selling the radioactive material they exchanged for with their life at designated purchasing stations, obtaining a type of long, rectangular steel piece in exchange. This was Tartic’s currency, even though it could only be used in the areas around Tartic’s surrounding areas. 

The currency remained quite stable in the last two years. This wasn’t really because Saladin had much understanding towards the word ‘inflation’ that had almost been lost, but purely because this type of currency wasn’t all that easy to manufacture in itself. Under circumstances where there was a lack of machinery, the difficulty of producing steel sheets was clearly greater than acquiring food. After all, aside from pure-blooded humans, most people in this era could eat practically anything, good enough as long as it had organic substance. 

After exchanging for the currency, most people chose to eat and drink as much as they liked, those fortunate enough to find nuclear fuel sticks or those who had extra money would even look for a true woman. In the end, they would leave everything they earned in Tartic. 

Su resided precisely in Tartic’s largest restaurant that doubled as a hotel, silently watching the crowd that continuously moved about outside. From Tartic’s scale, the amount of people moving about already exceeded the limit of what it could hold. There was no lack of refugees who were covered in rags, large amounts of pink mutated tissues stitched to their bodies. Tartic didn’t discriminate against refugees, or at the very least, those who wanted to do business wouldn’t. More mutated tissues they had on their bodies also meant more money. No one would make it difficult for money to arrive. 

None of the refugees who worked in the mines knew how much time they had left, and as such, they never hesitated when spending money. 

There were many normal people without much mutated tissues among the refugees as well, and there were quite a few who hurriedly headed towards the nuclear waste purchase locations, handing over large pieces of nuclear waste from within their bags. This was a bit inconsistent with what Su originally thought, because it was difficult for ordinary people to enter the large Gold Fields. Without enough mutated tissues to absorb the radiation, they wouldn’t even last a day in the Great Gold Field. However, they were able to bring out nuclear waste in exchange, this fact truly a bit inconceivable. One had to understand that Saladin spared no effort in beating down any armed mobs that tried to rob other refugees’ harvests, to the extent where any armed mob of over five members, as long as he heard any news, he would send out his army that was armed to the teeth to suppress.

Using Saladin’s words, this place only needed one scoundrel, and that was himself. 

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