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Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Translated by XephiZ
Edited by Aelryinth
A tall round structure stood out near the dams of the East Maritime Fortress. Even though it was a few streets away, the strong presence of the stone building loomed over the fortress.
The national team arrived at their destination to meet up with the person designated to receive them.
He was a handler of the Magic Association. He brought the team to a suite of rooms measuring over four hundred square meters. It had more than ten rooms that the members could choose from.
The injured members proceeded to rest, while the others gathered at the hall at the center of the suite.
The thirtyish man with pointy cheeks had a pair of deceitful, small eyes that would occasionally scan the girls on the team. He seemed to have some fetish for long legs. His eyeballs would look down, making him look like a perverted rat.
The man was unprepossessing, but the badge on his chest implied that his position was fairly high in the Magic Association.
“You’ll need to pay to stay here. If you don’t have money, you can pay with sea monsters’ gall bladders. Most Magicians that came to the East Maritime Fortress are risking their lives to earn some quick cash. But, I have to say, you’re quite unlucky to have stumbled into sea creatures just as you arrived… well, it wasn’t the worst scenario. I think it was the nineteenth zone, or the thirteenth zone that had two Commander-level creatures. Consider yourself lucky you weren’t there. Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. I am Lai Hengbao! I’m in charge of the Hunters from China!” He peeked at Nanyu with a side glance.
Nanyu had the longest legs, and his eyes never left her legs.
“Wait, hang on, we are…” Jiang Yu tried to explain when he realized something was wrong about the man’s reaction.
“Is your name Jiang Yu?” asked Lai Hengbao, reading the information on a paper.
Jiang Yu nodded.
“And you’re Nanyu?” Lai Hengbao finally had an excuse to look directly at her.
“That’s right then, sigh, don’t tell me you’re one of the best Hunter Groups in the country, or how talented you are, or whatever achievements you have, or what demon creatures you’ve killed before. Every Magician from China has to go through me here in the East Maritime Fortress. If your group is planning to take over the supervision of a zone, I advise you to follow my orders. Otherwise, Japan’s Magic Association will be even stricter at choosing the teams. They might even think you’re too weak to take the job and send you back to China,” Lai Hengbao said impatiently.
“Supervision of a zone?” Everyone exchanged glances with one another, not knowing what to say.
What the heck were the advisors up to? Didn’t they send the team to the East Maritime Fortress for training? Why did they send someone who doesn’t even know who they are to receive them?
“Holy shit, don’t tell me you’re here to travel, are you joking? I’m a busy man, I don’t want to say it again… The East Maritime Fortress is split into thirty-two zones, and each zone has over thirty alleyways, six streets, and a main street. Every zone is being supervised by a team, and these teams receive funding from Japan’s government and the World Magic Association every month. The supervising team has full control over the funds, deciding whether they take it all, or use it to expand their team by hiring more Hunters and Magicians. As long as the team can protect the zone and eliminate the sea creatures when the tide rises, they can take all the money,” explained Lai Hengbao. “And I am in charge of recommending people for the supervising teams who are looking for new blood, especially if they are Chinese… didn’t the agency explain how it works here to you?”
The team immediately felt like they had been tricked here and sold as slaves after hearing Lai Hengbao’s explanation.
“Can the advisors be more unreliable?” blurted out Jiang Shaoxu.
“Agency… as if we are really here to make a living,” muttered Jiang Yu with a dull face.
“I bet the advisors have purposely made the arrangements, to make our training more practical…”
Everyone soon realized what was going on.
There was indeed someone here to receive them, yet not because they were representatives of the national team that had come for training, but because the advisors had signed the team up for some manual labor!
Jiang Yu knew it was meaningless to reveal their identities, since it was all a set up by the advisors. He asked Lai Hengbao with a wry smile, “How about our pay?”
“Damn, what do you mean by that? Didn’t we already pay your superior the money? Don’t you know it’s tricky to get you unqualified people with no resumes, and no recognition into the East Maritime Fortress?” Lai Hengbao’s eyes widened when money was mentioned. He even stopped staring at the women’s legs and looked into Jiang Yu’s eyes.
“Oh, what he meant was, who do the gall bladders of the sea creatures we collect belong to?” Nanyu was able to take on her role fairly quickly.
“To the zone master! They will collect the gall bladders and sell them to the government. The zone masters will take a portion of the profit and spread the rest among the teams based on their contributions. By the way, I suggest you not to keep the gall bladders secretly, as all corpses of the sea creatures in the East Maritime Fortress belong to the public. You will be punished if you secretly hoard the gall bladders!” warned Lai Hengbao.
“I really feel like we’ve been sold here. How much money did the advisors take? Why didn’t they give us even a single yen?” cursed Zhao Manyan.
Everyone immediately felt a headache after Lai Hengbao finished talking.
The so-called training had somehow turned into manual labor…
“Oh, your superiors also asked me to pass a message to you. They asked you to hurry up and become a four-star team. Otherwise, your resources will be taken by other countries, or something like that… I thought they are sending an experienced team of Magicians here, yet you’re just a bunch of young kids. Four-star team? It’s impressive enough if you can survive the first tide rise!” Lai Hengbao burst out laughing. His eyes were full of disdain toward the young adults.
Lai Hengbao had no clue what the message meant, but the team knew what the advisors were saying.
In order to secure the advanced resources from the other national teams who were also their training, their team must level up to four stars during their time here.
“How can we rank up to four stars?” asked Ai Jiangtu.
“Defend the fortress, killing the sea creatures, rescue missions, frontal assaults, or special operations; people will take note if your performance is impressive. It’s similar to how the Hunter Union grades their Hunters. The number of demon creatures and the quests you complete will be turned into points, and the team will level up once the points pass the requirement for the respective stars. To become a four-star team, it might take you at least four years…” said Lai Hengbao.
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