[Arc 4] Chapter 121



Chapter 121
Scouting

Chu Shen, Lucas, and Su Gagi took two days to reach the magical beast hunting zone. Just like with the previous world, there was towns around each hunting zone. Chu Shen and co. went into the local town to check out the atmosphere and the resources the town had for sale.

They browsed a couple of shops to find out what was there. They also bought a couple tools such as axes, saws, and some other building materials. After they looked around town for two hours, they left for the hunting zone. Su Gagi told them his opinion of the town’s wares as they entered the forest.

“This place is a ripoff. The prices are 30% higher here than in any other place I’ve been. Not to mention the fact that the beast cores sell for 5% less as well.” He was obviously offended at the prices in the hunting town.

Chu Shen shrugged. “It’s not that big a deal. All we have to do is make a trip to get supplies from a different town. There’s one a day’s ride from the hunting zone. We can collect any supplies we need from there.”

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Lucas nodded. “Chu Shen here is an artificer. If we can buy the supplies cheap and sell the artifacts here then we’ll definitely make a killing.”

Su Gagi looked confused. “What is an ‘artificer’? It sounds like an important job from your voice but I’ve never heard of it.”

Now it was Lucas’ turn to be confused. “Haven’t you heard of an artifact?”

Su Gagi shook his head. “No, I don’t know what an artifact is.”

Lucas sighed. “Well, artificers create artifacts. Artifacts are essentially weapons or armor that has inscriptions in them. The inscriptions give the item different effects like unleashing a blast of mana.

Su Gagi suddenly showed comprehension. “Ah, you mean you can create magic tools? No wonder you seemed so protective of him, such a rare job to be a Magic Painter. It’s a pretty valuable occupation.”

Chu Shen, who had been listening in on the conversation, decided it was time to butt in. “Sorry for all of Lucas’ annoying chatter. We just called it a different name in our town. Artificers create the weapon from the ground up. We forge the blade and then put the magic paint on.”

Su Gagi was shocked at that. “You mean you actually make the tools yourself? I’ve never heard of a Magic Painter doing that. Most of them are stuck up snobs. That must explain why you’re so nice, you actually know about hard work.”

Chu Shen shrugged. “Well, by making the tool myself I can get a feel for the metal. Then I can make the best inscription for it. Altogether it’s much better than inscribing some random hunk of metal.”

Su Gagi shrugged. “I don’t know. It seems like you would know more about it than I do. All I can do is kill stuff and teach so I’ll leave the crafting part to you. Anyways, shouldn’t we be more focused on scouting the forest?”

“Oh please.” Lucas rolled his eyes. “I have a program running to identify threa-”

“Ahem” Chu Shen coughed lightly.

Lucas appeared suitably chastened after Chu Shen’s gentle reminder. “Uh, what I mean to say was that we should split up and cover at least ten miles of the hunting zone. We’re looking for any hazardous spots and especially dangerous magic beasts, right?”

Su Gagi nodded. “There shouldn’t be any since we checked the map in town but it is still a good idea to double check everything. This isn’t like buying a hat, there are people’s lives at stake”

“Alright, so we are agreed then? We split up and cover the hunting zone?” Chu Shen asked as the mediator. Everyone nodded in agreement. “Alright then. I’ll take the left, Lucas you take the middle, Su Gagi you take the right. Everyone good? Then let’s get started.”

Everyone started off in their own directions. Chu Shen wasn’t too concerned with scouting out the hunting zone. To be honest, they didn’t even need to enter the forest at all. The reason was because of Lucas’ drones. Lucas loved modifying them and one of the mods was adding a scanner to each drone.

The drones had energy scanners, 3d mapping, cameras, and pattern recognition software that had been uploaded from different dictionaries and encyclopedias. As a result, them going into the forest was more like an excuse for Chu Shen to relax for a little while.

Of course, there was also the additional reason for keeping Su Gagi in the dark about their capabilities. While Chu Shen was confident that Su Gagi and everyone else in their ragtag group wouldn’t betray them, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

By not having Su Gagi know about technology, he was kept safe from mentioning it on accident. Unlike a certain cyborg that keeps blurting things out. He was getting a headache just thinking about Lucas and his big mouth. Normally Lucas wasn’t so talkative but having someone new around seemed to stimulate his motormouth. Literally.

They only stopped scouting out the forest after four hours. With that it was getting close to night time. Chu Shen volunteered for the first watch while everyone else got into sleeping bags they had brought along. Every three hours the guard would wake one of the others up and have him take their place.

The next day, they went back into the forest and started scouting once again. They covered forty miles of forest that day which was half of the hunting zone. It turns out that since this was only a Rank 3 hunting zone, it was very big. The higher rank the hunting zone, the smaller it was.

The reason was that low rank magical beasts can breed a lot faster than high rank magical beasts. An example would be the Scorching Horned Rabbit. A single couple can make over 12 baby rabbits, all of which will be adults in less than two months.

As a result, low rank magical beasts need a lot of space since they seem to constantly repopulate. Furthermore, high rank beasts need less space but these hunting zones have stricter policies than the low rank hunting zones. Strict laws to prevent overhunting were enforced in high rank hunting zones. It would be bad if all the animals were killed after all.

They scoured the forest for the rest of the day before they finally called it quits. The next day it was time for the final step. They needed to locate an area outside of the hunting zone that they could base the kids training camp out of. The requirements for it weren’t very strict.

They needed a large open area with running water by it. They also needed trees so they could have wood for the fire. It also needed to be far enough from the hunting zone that the beasts wouldn’t bother coming out to attack them.

Everyone started looking for such an area even though Lucas found one pretty quickly with his drones. Chu Shen subtly guided them to the area Lucas had found for Su Gagi’s sake. Upon reaching it, they took out the axes and cut down all of the trees surrounding the twenty foot diameter clearing, expanding it to 100 feet. They also destroyed the other foliage. Then they cut all the felled trees the same exact size..

After they were done cutting up the trees, they took out the saws they had bought earlier. Using the saws, they cut notches into the ends of the felled trees. Next they stacked the felled trees on top of one another, creating rudimentary square log cabins. Then they cut more wood the same length as the cabins to make a roof.

The ground was only dirt and there was obvious gaps between the tree trunks. Next they used wood chips mixed with mud from the river that went through the clearing to fill the gaps. It was a crude solution but there wasn’t a better one for the time constraints they had.

With that, they had managed to build some roughshod houses for the kids. There was still some things they could do to make it better, making planks for a floor for one, but it was already getting dark. They had only accomplished this much in one day because of their cultivation. Everyone slept inside the cabins. The next day they left to head back to their camp.



References

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