Book 1 Chapter 30.3 - Half Dog
Su was truly shocked. He looked at Kane and said, “You?”
Kane laughed and pointed at his brain before saying. “Right, me! You will find that a subordinate like me will be far more useful than most people. In order to survive in this era, what one needs is wisdom and not muscle. I believe that regardless of whether it is in the wilderness of the Black Dragonriders, this point shouldn’t be any different.”
Su looked at Kane. From what he saw, Kane didn’t seem to be too outstanding in ability, but should at the very least possess two levels of strength. Actually, in terms of strength, he had also reached the lowest level a subordinate should have. However, Su shook his head and said, “Kane, this shouldn’t be fair for you. All I can give you is an opportunity to cure Penny. Forget about the extraordinary cost, the surgery might not necessarily even succeed.”
“An opportunity?” Kane laughed and said, “For you, this is just a normal opportunity, but for people like us who live in the wilderness, this is a dream that is simply impossible to achieve. I have already worked tirelessly for a year, yet nothing came of my efforts. To speak honestly, a few days ago, I already fell into utter despair. You can see Penny’s current circumstances as well, and she might not have another year. However, you just happened to appear, moreover carrying the officer rank from the Black Dragonriders. Only you would be willing to give me this opportunity. Forget about the Black Dragonriders, how many people in those large companies would think of people like us who survive in the wilderness as people?”
Su looked at Kane’s eyes that were somewhat muddled yet clearly understood many things. With a smile, he said, “I grew up in the wilderness, so I will also only belong here.”
Kane laughed and said, “This is also one of the reasons why I am willing to join your side. In fact, the first time I saw you, I felt that you should not be someone that belongs to this era. You have some traces of the olden era on you.”
Su gave the second floor a look and said, “Aren’t you the same?”
Kane burst into loud laughter and said, “I guess you are right in that as well! Alright, let’s put aside these things first and drink a glass! You can leave your things here. Don’t worry, there shouldn’t be anyone who will dare set their eyes on them!”
Su smiled and said, “I believe your boasting was ruined as soon as I came.”
Kane scratched his hair forcefully a few times. As if he didn’t really mind Su’s words, he said, “This is the wilderness! Brother, in the wilderness, it means that anything can happen!”
Before leaving, Kane shouted loudly towards the second floor. “Me and Su are going out for a drink. We won’t be back until early tomorrow morning!”
There was no sound from the second floor, but Kane clearly had his own way of receiving Penny’s reply. As such, he dragged Su out the door.
Su always felt a headache when confronted with strong drinks, and when he saw the pub, it was no different. However, faced with his first subordinate, he didn’t know how to refuse him. Su could completely sense Kane’s deep happiness, and he was also shocked towards his feelings for Penny. In this era, there was hardly any difference between those struggling for survival in the wilderness and wild beasts. The main use of women was to reproduce and relieve desires.
Having endured several dozen years, those roaming in the wilderness went through many changes. They developed more tolerance towards radiation, and their footsteps covered a wider region. It was to the point where some more robust individuals could even approach the areas where the nuclear bombs went off. Another benefit of increased resistance to radiation was the ability to eat more things, and the water they could use increased as well.
Being constantly exposed to danger greatly sped up humans’ growth process. A girl often developed as early as 8 years of age, and at the age of 11, they could already give birth. The standard time of pregnancy changed from the 10 months of the olden era to only 6 months at present. Moreover, the chances of having more children was greatly increased. However, the odds of a child possessing mutated tissues from birth also continued to rise, and the survival rate of children also declined into the same statistics as the olden era Middle Ages. The mutated tissues weren’t always detrimental, and they were actually one of the major factors in providing resistance against radiation.
Just like other mutated creatures, humans continuously transformed, adapting to the bitter and harsh new era. ‘Natural selection’ was now more accurately and cruelly verified in this era than any other. Meanwhile, those living in the asylums or underground bases retained the characteristics of the olden era humans. In their eyes, the refugees in the wilderness that were growing uglier by the day were gradually becoming closer and closer to wild beasts. Their way of life, structure of society, and strangely shaped mutated tissues that could coexist with their main bodies were clear proof. When these people left the underground bases, by relying on the food, drinking water, and advanced machinery, they similarly experienced difficult times. However, they eventually set up new bases in places that were comparatively safer before slowly expanding their range of control. This was how the pure-blooded humans from the various families and Blood Parliament came to be.
In the wilderness, just like the word ‘friend’, love was similarly a word that had long been eradicated.
In Saratoga’s pub, Su saw mostly new faces. Even though it had only been a few months since he was last here, at least a third of Saratoga’s residents had changed. There were no signs of the little girl that sold wine from before either. In the wilderness, those surviving in inhabited areas were just like the herds of horses in the grasslands. With each year came a new batch, but the numbers would always remain roughly the same.
Compared to the somewhat melancholic Su, Kane instead felt much happier. Three bottles of whiskey seemed to have been completely downed by him alone. As they chatted, Su explained the information he received from the Black Dragonriders regarding subordinates, and Kane completely entrusted him with all of his own abilities. Kane had an extra level of ability in Magic and Combat Domains, and this was, of course for self-protection, so it wasn’t anything exceptional. Of course, in the wilderness, Kane, equipped with these abilities, was already someone who ordinary robust individuals couldn’t challenge.
What left Su somewhat shocked was that Kane’s main ability actually lied in the supportive ability form moulding. Moulding used a portion of Magic and Perception Domain abilities, and by using his mind to control a force field or magnetic field, he could guide the shaping of metal or other materials. This required the moulding master to possess an exceptional sense of space as well as calculation skill. The main use for moulding is on the manufacturing of a small amount of high precision, uniquely designed components. Art was another application for this. Apart from these uses, top grade non-conventional ammunition and weaponry seemed to all need the help of high level moulding masters.
The originally third level Kane could already be considered a middle grade moulding master. Just with this skill alone, he could easily find a position inside the companies.
“Why haven’t you joined a company then?” Su asked. The strong alcohol was starting to make his awareness a bit sluggish.
Kane who had already downed two large bottles of strong alcohol was already starting to become a bit inarticulate. He widened his eyes that had long lost their focal point and said, “What good would joining a company do? To look at other people’s faces? In this piece of land, I am the big boss! Respect, freedom, wealth, those guys can’t provide anything I want. They can’t cure Penny, to the point where they wouldn’t even dare mention the request for treatment to the Black Dragonriders. Those truly great figures in the Black Dragonriders all treat those living in the wilderness like dogs, so those fellows with relatively less mutated tissues think of themselves as only half dog. They fawn over those great figures while barking furiously at us, because they are only half dog! Brother, no, I should call you master now. Damn it, I hate this word. However, you are willing to save Penny… alright, master. Do you know what half dog means? It means that if they come here to our wilderness, they will be torn to shreds by wild wolves like us!”
Kane released an alcohol belch, and then his eyes stared straight at Su. “Right, I never asked you, what did you come here for exactly?”
“I came to look for you. You definitely know about the wide grassland in the northern region. I want to see if there is a possibility of constructing a supply line that leads through that grassland.”
When the chat touched on his profession, Kane sobered up a bit. He forcefully wracked his brain. His brows creased together, and light continuously flickered within the depths of his pupils. Su knew that this was a sign that a Perception Domain ability user was either doing some calculations or searching through large amounts of data. After a while, Kane said, “It’s possible. However, it has to be with either wildebeests or double ox carriages. That grassland seems to be about two hundred or so kilometers, and there are countless marshes and wetlands, making it quite difficult to travel through. There are also many poisonous grasses there, so the first trip requires a bit more manpower. However, why do you need it to go through the grassland? Apart from a mountain, there isn’t anything else in the northern region.”
Su nodded and said, “There is a base that I am preparing to use. In the future, that base will be the center of operations, and we will continue to explore north. Tomorrow, I will go to the grasslands to hopefully find a relatively safe route to advance through. Make some preparations during this period of time. After I return, we will bring Penny to Dragon City.”
Kane fiercely chugged down a large gulp of alcohol. Then, he heavily patted Su’s shoulder, not saying anything else.
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