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Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
It was a long journey from the Pyroxene Town to the Void Mask Land.
It took about fifteen days for an ordinary businessman to travel it by carriage—five days from the Pyroxene Town to the Gold-panning Town, five days from the Gold-panning Town to the Dragon-Roar Town, and another five days to the Void Mask Land.
It was common to spend five days travelling from town to town, but why was that? Because more than five days of travel would make communication difficult while less than five days of travel would cause overlapping development between towns and thus potential conflicts in the future.
Therefore, apart from the towns that were already built in bustling districts, other towns that had been reclaimed in uncultivated lands like the Pyroxene Town, Gold-panning Town, and Dragon-roar Town had been designed with a distance of five days of travel between each other to maintain the proper connection.
Here, the distance of one day of travel wasn’t measured by walking, as nobody was able to take a journey to uncultivated lands by walking except for experienced adventurers. A one-day walk there would make one too exhausted to protect themself from magic beasts.
One day of travel actually meant carriage travel.
Before he was there, Sui Xiong didn’t know how far a carriage in his world could travel in a day, but it probably wasn’t as far as the ones in this world, because horses in this world were much stronger than the ones in his world. They could pull a cart and walk steadily for a whole day and even run a bit in the middle from time to time. Though Sui Xiong had never ridden a horse before, he had read quite a few historical stories about travelling in which the cavalries were good at hard fighting on battlefields and short-distance maneuvering, while they weren’t as good as infantry in long-distance maneuvering, for the horses were weaker than humans.
In the early morning, the carriage set off carrying spectators from the Pyroxene Town. A few adventurers served as the porters, as well as the bodyguards, of this fleet of carriages.
In case they confronted vicious magic beasts, Mr. Jose would be the one on the fleet to handle it, though they were not going through secluded lands, and there were businessmen passing by sometimes. Most powerful magic beasts were smart enough to avoid such an area, so it was already adequate to have experienced adventurers as guards.
And this time was no exception. All was good for the entirety of the journey, and no trouble happened at all. The fleet arrived at a small village near dusk, where their camping site was reserved.
On a field trip, camping wasn’t recommended unless one had to. If possible, it would be better stay in a village or at least near one, because magic beasts usually didn’t attack villages, but tended to attack campers.
Of course, this was some advice for ordinary people or average adventurers. For experienced ones who often explored wastelands, camping was a common practice, and they were even used to fighting magic beasts during the night. Magic beasts were something usual for them. On the contrary, if there were no magic beasts coming at all, they would be rather concerned, wondering if they had accidentally entered the territory of a super powerful monster such as the Archean Dragon.
Reif and his companions spent the whole day in the carriage, wasting no time, since the Mayor of the Felix Town had arranged an introduction to the Void Mask Land for them about all the countries and areas in the mainland, along with some writing classes.
They wrote with a soft brush pen on a roll of light gray cloth, easy stationery that had been released recently in Geerteng City, which was known as the “Home of Stationery.” They dipped the soft brush pen in water and wrote on the gray cloth to leave black handwriting on it. After they finished writing, the cloth would be hung outside the carriage to dry so that the handwriting would disappear to enable the reuse of the cloth.
According to their adventurer teacher, this had been invented by Baron Geerteng—now Viscount Geerteng—Ms. Olian. She believed that the meaning of knowledge and education was to make education accessible to more people so that they wouldn’t be deprived of the opportunity to learn due to poverty. This supporter of the God of Knowledge had once promised to spend her whole life promoting education across the mainland to benefit this country.
She had been doing as she promised.
In recent years, lots of cheap stationery had been invented in Geerteng, including this ink writing cloth. It was, reasonably, much more expensive than normal cloth. A roll of this cloth and a pen together cost a silver coin, but it was, after all, no more than a silver coin, fairly affordable for many poor kids in order to learn to write.
In fact, the ink writing cloth benefited them more by making painting accessible to everyone. It could not only used for writing but also painting. One might have needed a teacher to learn how to write, but not necessarily to learn to paint.
Therefore, skillful young painters were seen everywhere. Many kids liked painting at their leisure, and most of them thus discovered their talent in the arts. As they carried on making efforts, they made progress.
Among them was the young adventurer who had taught Reif and the other fellows to write. He had been a soldier before and had a chance to have his own ink writing cloth. Though he wanted to learn to write and followed the writings on bulletins, he soon found he had a greater talent in painting, especially recreating the magic beasts and monsters he had seen before. He could always capture the features of these beasts and painted in a vivid and clear way.
With this talent, he had earned quite some money by painting commonly seen magic beasts for a few villages for the purpose of introducing them. He decided not to be a soldier anymore. As the popular saying on the earth went—”the world is so big, I want to have a look.”
Travelling around the mainland, he soon found himself in the Void Mask Land. There, he took a literacy class and became a literate, educated person.
Since then, he had become an adventurer and was active around the Void Mask Land.
It was an amazing place. Located along the border and close to nothing except for the Dragon-Roar Town, which had many magic beasts, it was in fact the high-end transportation hub of the mainland. With its powerful portal system, one could arrive there from any capital city in the mainland in a flash and arrive in another capital in the next second. It took less than ten minutes for one to travel in between, as long as he or she could afford it financially and physically.
It had made this place a trading center of high-end products, as well as an assembly point for high-level adventurers when between jobs. Whoever came there to shop or recruit had to be rich, as the transmission fee was so high that less affluent people would be blocked by the famous high-end market.
Home to the world’s best restaurants, hotels, opera houses, and entertainment venues, it had now become a well-known spot for entertainment consumption. Select adventurers with good records also gathered here, attracting employers who were seeking reliable labors.
Speaking of the most famous talents here, chefs and accountants were among the top. Graduating from a vocational school called “New Oriental,” these two types of professionals were popular among all chambers of commerce and nobles in the mainland. A master chef would bring more than enough customers to a restaurant, and everyone would be delighted at their cooking and get along better. An expert accountant could also help maximize the profits of a business and minimize unnecessary or foolish expenditures.
It was said that this vocational school always had recruiters coming from all parts of the mainland gathering at its entrance, especially in the summer graduation season. Fortunately, there were supporters for Gods who stayed in this school, and Gods came from time to time, otherwise, the recruiters would probably have broken into the school to grab students inside.
This young teacher became a bit gloomy when mentioning the vocational school. Reif guessed he also wished to study in that school. Was it because he had been rejected? Or did he not want to become a chef or accountant…
After a full day of class, both the teacher and students were exhausted. However, Reif failed to fall asleep.
Lying on the temporary bed of a bunch of hay with a blanket on top, he stared at the tent roof in the dark, deep in thought.
Over half a month, he had learned one to two hundred common words—given that he had a good memory and wouldn’t easily forget what he had learned before. Now, he was more or less literate, but what could he do with that?
Start to sign his own name, “Reif,” instead of asking the clerk for help?
Start to read bulletins by himself instead of having the staff next to him help?
Start to read road signs to know the directions and roads so that he wouldn’t get lost?
But these were all tiny things.
Or… maybe I should learn more?
But will it be of any help?
Go become a chef or accountant?
They’re both good, but could I really do it?
Or should I also take that literacy class? As long as I pass their elementary test… and it doesn’t cost much.
But even if I learn all the words, what can I do with them?
But learning to write and read is always good anyway…
He thought while tossing and turning and finally fell asleep.
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